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


Gamochaeta coarctata (Common cudweed)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Gnaphalieae
Genus: Gamochaeta
Species: G. coarctata
Binomial name: Gamochaeta coarctata
Synonym: Gamochaeta spicata, Gnaphalium coarctatum
Common name: Purple cudweed (also used for Gnaphaliun purpureum)

Gamochaeta coarctata was originally from South America and is now the most commonest of the naturalised spicate (inflorescence on a pike) cudweeds. It is common throughout the North Island, Nelson, Marlborough, Westland and Fiordland. Its habitat is wet or stony sites, river-beds, forest margins, lawns, pastures and coastal places.
Gamochaeta coarctata is a variable, rosette-forming annual or bienniall plant. The shiny hairless basal leaves (2-11 cm long) have no stalk and are broadest towards the tip (2-11 cm long) These leaves undersides are covered in a white tomentose. (See photo)
The small, whitish flower heads (3 mm across) appear during September to March are in dense clusters along an erect flowering spike.




 

The flowering stalk.




Tip of a new flowering stalk
 



The underside of a leaf.


The white tomentose.on the underside of a basal leaf.