Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Gamochaeta purpurea (L.) Cabrera
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: This cudweed is distinguished by its purplish, pointed bracts and its flowers that bloom in the spring. This plant persists into the winter and can be identified by its grayish green leaves with the white-woolly undersurface.
- Habitat: Old fields, thickets, prairies, stream banks, open woodlands.
- Habit: Annual or biennial herb with slender roots.
- Stems: Upright, up to 2 feet tall, covered with white, matted hairs.
- Leaves: Basal and alternate, simple, spatulate to linear, rounded or slightly pointed at the tip,
tapering to the base, white-woolly on the lower surface, pale green on the upper, up to 2 inches
long, up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: Several flowers crowded together into a head, with many heads arranged in a spike;
each head up to 1/3 inch high, subtended by several purplish, pointed bracts.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Tubular, of 2 types: the outer 4-lobed, the inner 5-lobed.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes elongated, roughish, bearing a tuft of bristles at the top.
- Notes: In the past this species has been known as Gnaphahum purpureum.
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