Lake Washington was at its finest during the height of a hot summer. Fortunately the large Oregon ash / Fraxinus latifolia trees in the wetland buffer shaded us as we pulled noxious weeds from native plantings. After working at a leisurely pace in the sultry weather we were joined by even more homeschooling friends for a fun afternoon in the refreshing lake.
Conspicuous across our work site were thick mats of dead (for the summer) noxious stickyweed / Galium aparine that had clearly been smothering the small native plants back in spring when their growth is rampant. The dry mats of stringy, grasping stems made clear why it is also known by the name bedstraw and also cleavers, as evident by the grasping round seedballs left all over our clothes and gloves. Surely you know them. Indeed it was such small hooks on burrs that inspired the creation of velcro. Our less-seen native species of Galium include small bedstraw / Galium trifidum & boreal bedstraw / Galium boreale. They are in the family Rubiaceae, which includes coffee, and supposedly the seeds of G. aparine can be used as a substitute as well as having edible foliage with medicinal properties.