COMMON CUDWEED

Filago germanica

(Formerly: Filago vulgaris) (Formerly: Gifola germanica)
Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8white
petals
petalsZ0
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

1st May 2006, a field, Brook Hill, Brighstone, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The greyish-green patch is covered in Common Cudweed.


1st May 2006, a field, Brook Hill, Brighstone, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Another patch, all bolt-upright.


1st May 2006, a field, Brook Hill, Brighstone, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
This large patch is in its early stages of growth: no main stem or flowers yet.


1st May 2006, a field, Brook Hill, Brighstone, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Just the leaves so far in this large patch. The plant lacks basal leaves, these are young stem leaves before the curl.


1st May 2006, a field, Brook Hill, Brighstone, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The young leaves are almost linear but for a very slight widening before the sudden tip. They are also white-hairy, the hairs mostly lying flat on the surface. The edges are already showing signs of curling backwards. They have tiny short reddish tips (probably hydathodes).


21st June 2007, an ex arable farm, Sainham, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Meanwhile, back to the adults, standing upright up to 50cm high without branches (but some may have more than one composite flower-head at the summit.


Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The flowerhead may be bent over at the very top as if looking out over the terrain ahead.


Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The stem has shortish white-hairy, narrow leaves (most here out-folded) clustered around the stem.


Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The flowerhead at the top has opened displaying its narrow, composite, yellow flowers bunched in a hemisphere at the top. Some plants have more than one flowerhead here on short branches outwards - but so far without flowers.


Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The hemispherical flowerhead.
Each flower (which is a composite of several florets itself - with female flowers on the outerside and bisexual flowers on the inside) is surrounded by green sepals. There can be between 20 to 40 of these flowers in a cluster, the clusters being 10 to 12mm across.


Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The outer outer florets in each flower must be the female ones; the bisexual flowers are in the centre. All surrounded by 5 green sepals.


21st June 2007, an ex arable farm, Sainham, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The books say that the tips of the flowers may be red (here they must have gone slightly beyond that stage and are brownish instead).
An as-yet unopened flower is below that.


unknown date, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The nearly linear leaves are out-curled at the edges and crinkled at the edges - like the basal leaves of Weld in miniature, but these of Common Cudweed are also hoary with white hairs. The stem leaves are widest at their base.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

It is native and grows on barish places on heaths, dry sandy heaths, sand pits and waysides throughout the British Isles but is less common in the North and West (which may explain why your Author has never knowingly seen it) and does not occur in the Outer Isles. It is the next most commonly occurring Cudweed to Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum), the commonest.


  Filago germanica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Filago
Filago
(Cudweeds)

COMMON CUDWEED

Filago germanica

(Formerly: Filago vulgaris) (Formerly: Gifola germanica)
Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]