Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Purple Cudweed: Gnaphalium purpureum

Weed Description:  A low-growing summer or winter annual, or biennial, that forms a rosette of grayish green woolly foliage.  Found throughout the United States but most common in the South.

Stems:  Elongating stems from the rosette do not usually branch and are grayish-white and woolly in appearance.

Seedling:  Cotyledons smooth, grayish green, without petioles, rounded to oval, 1.5-2.5 mm long, 0.75-1 mm wide.   Young leaves taper from the tip to a broad petiole.

Flowers: Occur in clusters at the ends of the stems.  Each flower is small, tannish-white with bracts that are light brown, pink or purple.

Fruit: An achene with an attached bristly pappus to aide in weed dispersal.

Leaves:  Arise from the rosette or connected to the elongating stem (cauline). Rosette leaves 4 inches long, approximately 3/4 inch wide.  Stem leaves alternate, grayish-white and woolly, without petioles (sessile), and progressively reduced in size moving up the stem.  Leaf margins may be wavy or without teeth (entire).

Roots:   Taproot with a secondary fibrous root system.

Identifying Characteristics:  Stems and foliage with distinct white-woolly foliage.