Gnaphalium obtusifolium L.

Gnaphalium obtusifolium plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - To 1m tall, arachnoid pubescent, typically single and simple from the base but branching near apex, erect, herbaceous, terete.

Gnaphalium obtusifolium stem

Leaves - Alternate, linear to linear-oblong or linear lanceolate, to +/- 7cm long, entire, many per stem, abaxial surface typically with dense arachnoid pubescence, adaxial surface dark green and somewhat shiny. Lower leaves typically dried at anthesis.

Inflorescence - Branching corymbose arrangement at top of stems, generally rounded or dome shaped with age.

Involucre - To +/-6mm tall (long). Phyllaries scarious-white, imbricate, appressed, arachnoid pubescent.

Gnaphalium obtusifolium involucreInvolucre(s).

Ray flowers - Absent.

Disk flowers - Minute, creamy white to pale yellow, mostly included within the involucre. Pappus of capillary bristles.

Gnaphalium obtusifolium flowersDisk flowers in the involucre.

Flowering - July - November.

Habitat - Pastures, waste ground, disturbed sites, woodland, prairies, thickets, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is an easy species to identify. The arachnoid pubescent stems and white involucres are characteristic. The plant can be found throughout Missouri.
Steyermark lists two varieties for the state. Variety obtusifolium (pictured above) has stems and leaves with a dense white hairiness. Variety micradenium has stems with glandular hairs and no dense white hairiness. This variety is much less common.

Photographs taken in Eminence, MO., 9-21-03.


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