Scientific Name: Gnaphalium palustre

Common Name: western marsh cudweed

Other Common Names: lowland cudweed

Synonyms: Filaginella palustris

Habit: Preferring moist soils the marsh cudweed is usually 5 to 20 cm tall with erect leafy stems branched at the base. The entire plant is covered with tufts of white woolly hairs.

Leaves: Leaves covered with loose felt like hairs are 1 to 3 cm long and have a single vein. They are oblong to lance shaped and the margins are smooth to slightly wavy.

Identifying Characteristics: Generally less than 20 cm tall covered with dense wooly hairs, with whitish to brownish green flowers.

Flower Seed Head: Small clusters of 3 to 10 whitish to brownish green or straw colored flower heads can be found in terminal or axillary positions. Floral bracts are scale like and pale brown with white tips. This species has no ray florets only yellowish white disk florets.

Seed Fruit: The fruit is an achene bearing a single 1 mm long brown ovate seed the pappus consists of deciduous white hairs. A single marsh cudweed is capable of producing over 500 seeds.

Where Found: Throughout Canada and the western United States. This weed is a serious pest in low-lying cultivated cropland, roadside ditches, and on irrigation ditch banks.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Plant family: Asteraceae