GALLANT SOLDIER

Galinsoga parviflora

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept month8Oct month8Nov

Pappus: pappusZpossible (very short)
pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct pappus8nov

flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
stem
stem8round
 

3rd Nov 2008, Hand & Dagger PH, Lancaster Canal, Nr Bilsborrow. Photo: © RWD
A sprawling mass!


3rd Nov 2008, Hand & Dagger PH, Lancaster Canal, Nr Bilsborrow. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are broad with coarse teeth.


3rd Nov 2008, Hand & Dagger PH, Lancaster Canal, Nr Bilsborrow. Photo: © RWD
With only five (white) ray florets, it has, along with one of the fewest outer florets for a member of the compositae (apart from those with none).


3rd Nov 2008, Hand & Dagger PH, Lancaster Canal, Nr Bilsborrow. Photo: © RWD
Note the small white seeds looking like miniature flowers. Both Gallant Soldier and Shaggy Soldier possess pappus scales (the 'feathers)' fringed with hairs, but only Shaggy Soldier has a fine terminal projections at their tips. This is the most reliable differentiator between the two species. See Shaggy Soldier for other microscopic differences for which your Author does not possess the corresponding photos of for Gallant soldier.


3rd Nov 2008, Hand & Dagger PH, Lancaster Canal, Nr Bilsborrow. Photo: © RWD
The petals have three prominent lobes.


3rd Nov 2008, Hand & Dagger PH, Lancaster Canal, Nr Bilsborrow. Photo: © RWD
Un-like the similarly 5-petalled Yarrow, Gallant Soldier has yellow disc florets.


Easily confused with : Easily confused with : Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata), but that is much more straggly and hairier. There is only one feature by which it is reliably differentiated from Shaggy Soldier and that is by the shape of the pappus scales (the 'feathers' on the seeds). See image captions.

Distinguishing Feature for Soldiers : The five (or sometimes only four) short white ray florets with large gaps between. Gallant Soldier has slightly shorter petals than Shaggy Soldier.

No relation to : Water-Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) [a plant with similar name]

Gallant Soldier is yet another alien plant accidentally foisted upon Britain by Kew Gardens, Surrey in 1860, the year it escaped from there. However, if they had not brought it in the first place, it would not have escaped for us to now enjoy. The list grows ever longer. But should botanists be worried by this? Perhaps it was here once before, before the last ice age, and maybe the one before that, etc.

Gallant Soldier is now to be found in the car park of The Hand and Dagger pub, on the Lancaster Canal, which is now a long way from where it originally escaped. It likes bare waste ground and possesses five, sometimes only four (hence the spurious scientific name), white ray petal-like florets.

Claim to Fame: Along with Shaggy Soldier and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) this plant has the fewest outer petals of any member of the Daisy and Dandelion Family, totalling a meagre five, apart from those plants which have no outer florets such as Groundsells. Most other members of this family have many more than a dozen outer petals.

It is an unusual compositaeae (Daisy & Dandelion Family) plant in that it has only five (white) rays, but many (yellow) inner florets.

Gallant Soldier contains two glycosides: Galinsosides A and B, a flavonone glucoside plus two hydroxyflavanones.

Gallant Soldier contains two hydroxyflavonones, Butin (7,3',4'-trihydroxyflavonone) and 3,5,7,3',4'-pentahydroxyflavonone (not shown). Compare Quercetin. Butin has a cyto-protective effect in cells against oxidative damage from hydrogen peroxide. Flavonols are yellow or deep yellow in colour and contribute to the colour of many yellow flowers.


  Galinsoga parviflora  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
family8daisy family8dandelion  family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8galinsoga
Galinsoga
(Gallant Soldiers)

GALLANT SOLDIER

Galinsoga parviflora

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

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