Native or Invasive- Help ID this groundcover--NC

Lojoni93

This plant came up in the spring, along with a bunch of other new native flowers I planted in a sunny bed in my Raleigh NC home. I didn't remember planting it, but watched it spread from a small clump to 2 by 3 foot dense patch over the summer. Leaves are leathery and a nice yellow-green. It just started flowering, a small white flower with 4 petals. But I notice a low growing plant [darker green ] with the same flowers, blooming at the same time, in my grass.

If it is native, I'll keep it. I can't find it in invasive lists or in wildflower lists.

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terrestrial_man(9)

It is a Galium species but I do not know which one and whether it is native or naturalized. Check the link below and then click on the folder tab headed SUBORDINATE TAXA. You will be able to identify the names of those that occur in your area and sometimes they will have colored images of the species if you click on its name.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Galium

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Lojoni93

thank you!

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Rather than a Galium, I believe you have a Diodia, perhaps Diodia virginiana, Virginia buttonweed (which despite the name is apparently a native of Alabama).

Native or not, it will take over. It roots as it goes, and can sprout from a loose bit cut off by the lawnmower, as well as by seed.

If yours spread from a small clump to a 2'x3' clump over the summer, that means it's spreading at least 12" in a season. How big is your flowerbed?

Here's an interesting article about Virginia buttonweed in lawns. (I have to say, though, that I never water my lawn, and it grows tall between mowings -- but the buttonweed is still spreading.)
http://mobilebotanicalgardens.org/2012/07/12/beating-buttonweed/

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