Cleavers/ Goosegrass

Galium apartine
A weak-stemmed, up to 5' plant that reclines on low bushes. The square stems are covered with downwardly hooked prickles, so are very rough when stroked from the base toward the tip, much smoother stroked in the other direction. Lance-shaped, rough-edged leaves are in whorls of 8 (sometimes 6). One to 3 white, 4-petalled, 1/8" flowers are on forked stalks from the leaf axils. Blooms May-September in moist woods, thickets, fencerows.

Rough bedstraw (G. asprellum) is also prickly but leaves are in whorls of 6.