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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Cudweeds  (Gnaphalium spp. (= Euchiton spp.))

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Life stages of Cudweeds mature everlasting cudweed seedling flower head purple cudweed flowering stem seeds

Most cudweed species are annuals. Purple cudweed, Gnaphalium purpureum, is either a winter or summer annual, or biennial, as some plants will survive into the second year to mature, thereby behaving as a biennial. Creeping cudweed, G. collinum, is a perennial. Everlasting cudweed, Gnaphalium luteo-album, is a landscape and nursery weed. Cotton batting, Gnaphalium stramineum, can be a problem in turf.


Cotyledons (seed leaves) and first true leaves are covered with whitish to light gray woolly hairs. The first true leaves have smooth edges and taper gradually toward the base.

Mature plant

Sparsely branched, mostly erect, and are 8 to 20 inches (20–50 cm) tall.


The flower heads are crowded, spikelike, and densely arranged on the stem or at the base of leaf stalks.


The fruits bears bristly, tuftlike projections that are shed at maturity.


Reproduces by seed.

Related or similar plants

  • Creeping cudweed, Gnaphalium collinum
  • Cottonbatting cudweed, Pseudognaphalium stramineum (Kunth)
  • Everlasting cudweed, Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum
  • Purple cudweed, Gnaphalium purpureum

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