Asteraceae – Cudweeds 12017-08-16T12:46:50+00:00

   Asteraceae: Sunflower Family – Gnaphalieae (Cudweed) Tribe – 1

The Sunflower family is a very large family with over 25,000 members.  Botanists subdivide the family into a number of tribes of which 14 are represented in Monterey County, one of these, the Heliantheae or Sunflower tribe, being further broken down into subtribes of which 9 are represented in Monterey  County. Members of the Gnaphalieae or Cudweed Tribe lack ray flowers but have, generally, tight heads with inconspicuous disk flowers only. This page covers some of the larger species.

Pearly Everlasting – Anaphalis margaritacea

Blooms:

July–Oct

Plan Height:

20–80 cm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Openings in woods, along streams and on roadsides

Notes:

Often confused with California Cudweed, this is easily distinguished by looking at the underside of the leaves which are white to gray and tomentose. The leaves are not decurrent. t has only disk flowers which are yellow, surrounded by bright white petal-like phyllaries in 8–12 series. Stems are usually white and tomentose.

California Cudweed / Everlasting – Pseudognaphalium californicum

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

20–130 cm

Flower Size:

Medium cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Wooded slopes & disturbed places

Notes:

Often mistaken for Pearly Everlasting, this blooms earlier in the year and is easily distinguished by its leaves which are green on both sides. They are also decurrent. The leaf margin may be rolled under. The phyllaries are in 7–10 series and may be white to pink or opaque. Stems are green and may be tomentose. The leaves are very aromatic, with a curry-like odor.

Bioletti’s Cudweed – Pseudognaphalium biolettii

Blooms:

Apr–June

Plant Height:

20–120 cm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry, open places

Notes:

Similar to California Cudweed but the upper part of the stems are persistently tomentose and the leaves are clasping but not decurrent. The leaf margin may be rolled under. The upper side of the leaves is bright green and may be tomentose, the underside is generally white-tomentose. The phyllaries are in 4–5 series, shiny and white (sometimes pink). The leaves are scented with a spicy aroma.

Pink Everlasting – Pseudognaphalium ramossissimum

Blooms:

July–Sept

Plant Height:

50–150 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry slopes and open places

Notes:

In recognizing this plant, the pink, yellow or white color of the flowers is less distinctive than its open, branching growth habit which is unlike any of the other species of this genus. Leaves are green above and below, wholly lacking the woolliness found in some of the other cudweeds.

Fragrant Everlasting – Pseudognaphalium beneolens

Blooms:

June–Oct

Plant Height:

30–110 cm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Open, dry places

Notes:

Very similar to the White Everlasting (Pseudognaphalium microcephalum) which also has a pale gray, tomentose appearance but this species is more a greenish-white in color and is most easily distinguished by the shape of its leaves which are generally linear and also noticeably decurrent. Despite the name it has no or only a very slight fragrance. The branches tend to be ascending rather than spreading as with White Everlasting.

White Everlasting – Pseudognaphalium microcephalum

Blooms:

June–Aug

Plant Height:

30–100 cm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry slopes & open places

Notes:

Very similar to Fragrant Everlasting (Pseudognaphalium beneolens) which also has a pale gray, tomentose appearance; this species is most easily distinguished by the shape of its leaves which are generally narrowly oblanceolate and not (or barely) decurrent and definitely wider. Branches are spreading rather than ascending as with Fragrant Everlasting.