I have a Chamaerops humilis in my apartment and in there is these small plants growing. I live in Denmark, Europe and my palm tree has only been inside my apartment since i got it.

Can anyone identify this plant?

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1 Answer 1


It's a bit early yet, but it looks very much like a weed known in my area as "cleavers" or "clingweed" (Galium aparine) because of it's tiny stiff hairs which make it catch and cling to clothing. The picture below is for a fully mature plant, which is stiffer and stickier than when they first sprout. Note the whorl arrangement of (usually six) leaves, with each leaf having a "point" protruding from the tip, the distrubution of hooked hairs along stem and leaf, and the initially prostrate habit (they grow along the ground initially). The mature stem will be squarish and easily crushed.

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Though your plant's leaves are broader, there are ~650 species of Galium, and I believe yours will be either Galium aparine or Galium mollugo. But you'll be able to tell what it truly is when it flowers.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot for the detailed answer. Do you know how this plant got into my palm tree? $\endgroup$
    – user14636
    Jun 21, 2015 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Sova - Usually in a potted plant, they are brought in in the soil, especially if you add soil from outside to top off soil which gets compacted naturally as humus is broken down. If the plant has ever been outside, it will be subject to weed seeds. They are everywhere - carried in the wind, splashed up by hard rain, carried by insects, even dropped by birds. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2015 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ Wow i didnt know that. My palm tree was standing outside when i bought it some months ago. The funny thing is that there is also some milipedes living in it. Some weeks ago i found a huge milipede in the soil. Then i grabbed him and put him outside. Then a week ago i found a small milipede about 1 cm also living in the soil. If i knock on the vase a couple of time i can get him to surface for a short time and then he returns back into the soil. I wonder how they got there and what they eat. $\endgroup$
    – user14636
    Jun 21, 2015 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ The millipedes came from outside - definitely not sterilized soil mix. Millipedes eat dead and decaying plant (and sometimes animal) matter - what gardeners call "humus". :-) $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2015 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ These are the worst ... so messy, and spread like wildfire in disturbed areas $\endgroup$
    – J. Musser
    Jul 14, 2015 at 3:31

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