SHAGGY SOLDIER

Galinsoga quadriradiata

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept month8Oct month8Nov

Pappus: pappusZpossible (very short)
pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct pappus8nov

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8white
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 (4)
stem
stem8round
 

24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Grows to between 10 and 25cm high occupying bare and waste ground, more frequent in London area.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A younger specimen, cleaner-looking. Your Author thought this one was going to turn out to be Gallant Soldier, but on very close inspection of the flowers it is actually Shaggy Soldier.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Some specimens have very broad leaves.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Stems and leaves hairy with both ordinary and glandular hairs. Shaggier with more rough hairs than the otherwise almost identical Gallant Soldier.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Broader leaves at the bottom.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Branches tri-furcate, the shortest usually being the central ones.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Leaves vary in shape from narrow lanceolate near the summit to pointed oval nearer the bottom.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Leaves in pairs, toothed or slightly toothed, often with two narrow leaflets each side.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
The five well-separated white petals (ray florets / ligules) have three prominent lobes each.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
The petals are slightly longer and the flower slightly larger than those on Gallant Soldier.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Like Gallant Soldier it has 5 sepals.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Both Gallant Soldier and Shaggy Soldier can be hairy with both eglandular and glandular hairs, but Gallant Soldier has far fewer hairs. Yellow disc florets in the centre almost ready to become pappus with seeds.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Showing the receptacular scales, which are the thin fawn-coloured scaly coverings (they were pale-green before) emerging from the bi-conical receptacle (white in top third here and green in bottom two thirds) which also hold the seeds with their annular pappus at the top.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
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. Another indicator is that on Gallant Soldier the fawn-coloured receptacular scales are mostly and distinctly 3-lobed, whereas in Shaggy Soldier they are mostly simple, with only a few having one or two weak lateral lobes. The tops of the seeds are circular and bristly at the centre of each 'feathery umbrella' aka pappus aka 'parachute' in both species.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Yellow disc-florets in centre, white ray-florets on periphery (of which two have dropped off from this seeding specimen). On the right some disc-florets have detached themselves from the top of the black seed which is encircled by the off-white scales of the pappus.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Of the lower central disc floret: The ray floret sits on top of the (hidden) black seed beneath the radial white scales of the pappus. These scales are quite stiff and rigid. The stem beneath has glandular hairs.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The white pappus scales radiate out from the top of the black seed (top left). The yellow disc florets which have not yet fallen off from the top of the seed on the right. Each sits on a narrower green pedestal (which probably has a botanical name of which your Author is unaware).


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The pappus is made up of numerous simple (not trident, as for Gallant Soldier) white scales, some of which have an extended narrow point (which is indicative of Shaggy Soldier).


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The shaggy stem has two flowering heads in this instance. The one on the right has lost both disc and ray florets leaving just the pale-green receptacle upon which they were mounted and the narrow pale-green receptacular scales (which are not forked into three as they are for Gallant Soldier)


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The pale-green receptacle and its remnant pale-green simple (not trifurcated) receptacular scales. They are allowed to have a few deeper nicks. The receptacular scales, surviving for longer than the pappus and also present before the pappus, are therefore a more useful means of differentiating between Gallant Soldier and Shaggy Soldier because they are ever-present.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Disc-florets amongst what your Author believes are the pale-green receptacular scales.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The carrot-shaped seeds with the pappus scales attached at the top, a bit like shuttlecocks. The seeds are black and hairy and about 0.5mm across at their widest part and about 1.25mm long. The white seed on the far left might not have been fertilised(?). Some still have their disc-florets attached.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The hairs on the seed are short and directed upwards. The yellow disc-floret is still attached, but will detach later.


13th Aug 2017, by a building, Stalybridge, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
This is the seed of a ray-floret, within its green jacket (the front of which accidentally fell off when your Author was trying to manipulate it for its portrait). The scales of the pappus have not yet spread out sideways, being constrained at the moment by this straight-jacket. The off-white wrinkled object at the top is the withering remains of a white petal, of which there are only 5 on Galinsoga species.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
The leaves may have hairs emerging from raised pimples.


24th Sept 2014, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Maghull. Photo: © RWD
Both Gallant Soldier and Shaggy Soldier possess glandular hairs on the stems which have tiny pale-mauve coloured bobbles on the end (they turn a darker-purple, almost black, when older - these are the glands), and shorter non-glandular hairs, but Gallant Soldier has far fewer of either type of hair.


Easily confused with : Gallant Soldier (Galinsoga parviflora), but Gallant Soldier is much less straggly and more upright and bespoke. There is only one feature by which it is reliably differentiated from Gallant 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. Shaggy Soldier has slightly longer petals than Gallant Soldier.

Claim to Fame: Along with Gallant 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 Groundsels. Most other members of this family have many more than a dozen outer petals.

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

It is an unusual compositae (Daisy & Dandelion Family) plant in that it has only five (white) rays, the fewest for any composite (except for Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica) which also has only 5 petals but that does not have yellow disc florets), but many (yellow) disc florets.


  Galinsoga quadriradiata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
family8daisy family8dandelion  family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8galinsoga
Galinsoga
(Gallant Soldiers)

SHAGGY SOLDIER

Galinsoga quadriradiata

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

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