JERSEY CUDWEED

Laphangium luteoalbum

(Formerly: Gnaphalium luteoalbum)
Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
maybe
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8orange
 
petals
petalsZ0
 
stem
stem8round
 
rarity
rarityZrare
 
sex
sexZbisexual
inner
sex
sexZfemale
outer

7th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © Dave Bishop
An annual which presumably was first found in Jersey, but in recent decades it has wandered north managing, after crossing the English Channel, to get as far North as Manchester - if not further.


7th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © Dave Bishop
It walks tall and erect to 50cm high. Covered in white-ish hairs making it appear a pale-green. The leaves are narrow spoon-shaped at the bottom becoming narrow-linear higher up than about a quarter of the way up. Apart from the leaves near the base the higher leaves hug the stem. The inflorescences are in small tight bunches at the summit.


7th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © Dave Bishop
The flower lacks petals and consists only of discoidal flowers; the outer ones being female, the inner ones bisexual. Overall the flower is shaped a bit like a miniature beer barrel, bulging in the middle. Cupping the outside of the 'barrel' are the phyllaries, which are yellowish-white.


7th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © Dave Bishop
The flowers are in tight sub-corymbose clusters at the summit of the leafy stem; so tight that many of the stalks are hidden.

The pappus is a flattened disc of white/brown radiating objects [best seen in one of the flowers in the topmost bunch], but they do not have scales on Jersey Cudweed. Neither does it have a 'parachute' as many other Asteraceae do.



29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The stems are white woolly and appressed to the stem.


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The inner disc florets (here yellow) are bisexual with a wider corolla than the outer disc florets (here orange) which are female-only.


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The disc florets, fist yellow, then turning orangey-brown, hardly emerge at all from the layered outer phyllaries.


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The outer phyllaries surrounding the flower. Are they cream as they should be for Jersey Cudweed, or white? There is some pale orangness there...


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Some yellow disc florets visible, especially in the one pointing to the right lower corner.


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The flower is shaped a bit like a barrel.


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A mid-stem leaf. It is indeed woolly on the upper surface just as the specification says for Jersey Cudweed (as well as the usual underneath surface).


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The mid-stem leaves look as though they are decurrent (the place of attachment extending down the stem some little way). The leaf here has two stipules looking like rabit ears sticking up at the junction with the stem.


29th July 2020, Old Trafford, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
However, the lowest leaves seem to just clasp the stem rather than also be decurrent.


Some similarities to : Common Cudweed (Filago germanica) in that it is covered in hairs making it appear glaucous-green, but that is much shorter and stubbier.

There are now many differing genera of plants with the common name of 'Cudweed' as taxonomists have discovered several differences in them that were not readily apparent maybe 10 or 20 years ago. There are now 8 differing genera into which the 'Cudweeds' now find themselves segregated into: Filago, (formerly called 'Gifolia' and 'Oglifa'), Logfia (also formerly called 'Gifolia' and 'Oglifa') [has everone noticed that those are all anagrams], Omalotheca, Gnaphalium, Gamochaeta, Pseudognaphalium (formerly also called Gnaphalium) and Laphangium.

Cape Cudweed (Pseudognaphalium undulatum) and Jersey Cudweed (Laphangium luteoalbum) used to be together in the same Gnaphalium genus but they have both been found to be not of that genus, but have now been moved into two separate genera that did not then exist as a name, but do now to accommodate the two. Such is often the result of recent microscopic examination of plant genes.

Visually, there is very little difference between the two. Here are the subtle differences:

CAPE CUDWEED JERSEY CUDWEED
Height 80cm 50cm
Leaf top green white woolly
Leaf underside white woolly white wooly
Leaf attachment decurrent down stem not decurrent down stem
Phyllaries whitish ± scarious straw-coloured scarious

Your Author will leave it to the judgement of the reader whether or not these actually are Jersey Cudweed. Their heights are at or below 50cm. Studying the photos of the leaves - they are perhaps not as white woolly on top as they are underneath. Also some of the upper leaves do seem to attach to the stems either with auricles either side or to actually be attached for some short distance downwards; whilst others lower down are not decurrent down the stem and therefore comply with the Jersey Cudweed specification. Some phyllaries are indeed cream coloured, but others look white.... You pays your money and takes your pick. But at least you now think you know what it should look like. Science never was an exact art; plants even less.

But the plants were assessed by a reknown botanist on the spot with Dave Bishop to take his earlier photos and declared as Jersey Cudweed. Your Author went to the same site to photograph essentially the same plants 3 weeks later.

If Jersey sounds a long way off, you are not wrong, it is, but many plants are continually moving north to survive; it is getting hotter biyearly, especially in the south. And who is to deny that in moving north, they might change slightly - the weather is different up here, cooler.


  Laphangium luteoalbum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Laphangium
Laphangium
(Jersey Cudweed)

JERSEY CUDWEED

Laphangium luteoalbum

(Formerly: Gnaphalium luteoalbum)
Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]