Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Hairy Galinsoga: Galinsoga ciliata

Weed Description:   An abundant seed-producing summer annual with hairy leaves and stems, reaching 2 feet in height. Primarily a weed of vegetable crops, however it may occur in any cultivated situation.  Found throughout the eastern and midwestern United States, and also on the west coast.
Seedling:  Cotyledons club-shaped with slightly indented tip.  The stem below the cotyledon (hypocotyl) is very short, green, becoming maroon with age.  Young leaves opposite, triangular with slightly toothed margins, and covered with hairs.
Leaves:  Opposite, oval to triangular, coarsely-toothed, petiolated, and densely covered with hairs on the upper surface.  Lower leaf surfaces have hairs that primarily occur on the veins.
Stems:  Erect, reaching 2 feet in height, freely- branched, green or less often maroon-tinted, and covered with hairs.

Roots: Fibrous.

Fruit:  A brown to black achene, 1 1/2 mm long, hairy, tapered from the base to the apex, with a white pappus that resembles a crown.
Flowers:  Many flowers are produced from terminal stems or from the areas where petioles meet the stem (leaf axils).   Flowers are less than 1 cm wide and consist of 4 to 5 white (or less often pink), 3-toothed ray flowers (outer flowers) and many yellow disk flowers (inner flowers).
Identifying Characteristics:   Hairy stems and leaves, and 3-toothed ray flowers.  The densely hairy nature of this weed helps to distinguish this weed from smallflower galinsoga (Galinsoga parviflora), which is very similar but much less hairy than hairy galinsoga.