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Certainly a bedstraw (Galium - like cleavers and sweet woodruff). I would have guessed Galium palustre instead of Galium mollugo - however the apiculate leaves agree with an identification as Galium mollugo.
If it is Galium mollugo it should have smooth stems.
Thanks lavateraguy (and to Chris for the original id). I can get back to the plant in question. Are there any other identification factors that I should be looking for that might swing it one way or another?
A lot of the key characters in Galium need a hand lens (or macrophotography) - unless touch works as an alternative - such as
* whether the marginal prickles on the leaves are directed forwards of backwards
* whether the leaf apices are obtuse, acute, apiculate or mucronate
* whether the stems are rough or smooth
* nature of the surface of the fruits
* number of main leaf veins
an easier, but less accurate, characters is
* number of leaves in a whorl (look at whorls towards the base of the stem).
a more ambiguous character is
* shape of leaves
My reason for suspecting Galium palustre was a poor one - I expect Galium mollugo to be more robust.
Much appreciated - thanks!
Lat/Lng: 57.16, -2.2
OS grid ref: NJ880076