31. Galium linearifolium Turczaninow, Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou. 7: 152. 1837.
线叶拉拉藤 xian ye la la teng
Herbs, perennial, erect, sometimes slightly woody at base. Stems up to 65 cm tall, 4-angled, hirtellous or puberulent to glabrescent or smooth and glabrous. Leaves in whorls of 4, sessile or subsessile; blade drying leathery, linear-spatulate, often slightly falcate, 10-60 × 1-4 mm, adaxially glabrous, weakly shiny, antrorsely aculeolate along midrib and/or near margins, abaxially glabrous or sparsely hirtellous along midrib, base cuneate or obtuse, margin antrorsely aculeolate or pubescent, revolute, apex obtuse to acute; vein 1. Inflorescences terminal, paniculiform, with few- to many-flowered, 1.5-5 cm long cymes; peduncles hirtellous to glabrous, smooth; bracts narrowly elliptic, 1-3 mm or often lacking; pedicels 1.5-6 mm. Ovary ellipsoid to obovoid, ca. 0.8 mm, glabrous, smooth. Corolla white, rotate, ca. 4 mm in diam.; lobes 4, lanceolate, acute. Mericarps ellipsoid to subglobose, 2.5-3 mm, glabrous and smooth. Fl. Jun-Aug, fr. Jul-Sep.
Grassy slopes, forests, thickets, mountain meadows; 400-1800 m. Hebei, Hubei, Liaoning [Korea].
Galium linearifolium seems to be a rare species and is easily confused with G. boreale. The latter has leaves usually somewhat lanceolate and with 3 main veins. Cufodontis (Oesterr. Bot. Z. 89: 219-223. 1940) mentioned a certain affinity of G. linearifolium with G. bungei. Although G. linearifolium is said in FRPS to have leaves in whorls of 4, the relevant figure (71(2): 251, t. 56, f. 3. 1999) shows them in whorls of 5, evidently a mistake.