T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Euchiton sphaericus (Japanese cudweed)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Euchiton
Species: E. sphaericus
Binomial name: Euchiton sphaericus
Synonyms: Gnaphalium sphaericum, Gnaphalium hemisphaericum,
Gnaphalium morii, Euchiton forsteri, Gnaphalium virgatum, Leontopodium japonicum var. sandwicense
Common names: Globe cottonleaf, Star cudweed, Tropical creeping cudweed, Japanese cudweed, Common cudweed

Euchiton sphaericus is an annual, occasionally biennial herb growing up to 50cm tall. It is native to New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Taiwan, Java, and Philippines. It is common throughout New Zealand. 
Euchiton sphaericus stems are covered with white woolly hairs. 
It has flat, basal, green leaves with edges curving down and often wavy with a straight point. They are hairless above and the lower surface has a white or green tomentose. 
The plant produces on top of 20 cm long upright stems, dense spherical clusters of flower heads, each about 2 cm in diameter. The flower heads are a reddish-purple or pale brownish, with 0 petals and are subtended by 3-8 leaf-like bracts far longer than the flowers. Smaller flower clusters occasionally form at the bases of the upper leaves.