Jersey Cudweed

Helichrysum luteoalbum (L.) Rchb.

Synonyms - Gnaphalium luteo-album, Pseudognaphalium luteo-album.

Family: Asteraceae.

Names:

Jersey cudweed.

Summary:

Grey white, woolly, several stemmed, erect, annual to short lived perennial herb with yellow globular flower heads at any time of year. It has narrow leaves and is 10-40 cm tall.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First Leaves:

4-6 lance shaped leaves in a rosette.

Leaves:

Alternate.
Petiole - On lower leaves.
Blade - Lower ones egg shaped to oblong, 20-50 mm long x 2-8 mm wide, rounded tip. Tiny warts near tip usually hidden by hairs. Dense, woolly hair on both surfaces usually.
Stem leaves - No petiole. Smaller than basal leaves. Narrowly egg shaped to parallel sided, stem clasping. Top ones have slender pointed papery tip.

Stems:

Several, upright or bending upwards, 100-700 mm tall.
Flower stem - Leafless.

Flower head:

Leafless, globular clusters of 4-8 spikes. Mainly on the ends of stems, with a few lower down in leaf axils. Individual sections (involucres) bell shaped, 3-15 mm diameter with bracts.

Flowers:

Appear golden due to bracts. Many female florets (around 100) pink or reddish, threadlike, on edges and 4-10, central, broader, tubular, bisexual florets in each involucre.
Bracts - Several rows, egg shaped to oblong. Pale yellow to golden, or whitish, shiny, papery, rounded tip, 5-6 mm long, spreading when dry.
Ovary - superior.
'Petals' - None.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Achene. Sparse, tiny hairs. Pappus of 8-12, rough, free, fine bristles with tiny hairs near the base. Pappus falls off as the fruit matures.

Seeds:

Tiny.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Woolly tormentose.
Upper most leaves at the base of the inflorescence with slender acuminate scarious apices.
Flower heads in dense leafless clusters, usually terminal.
Involucre bracts pale yellow or gold.
Innermost involucre bracts flat, not embracing adjacent floret.
Florets pink or reddish, nearly all tubular and bisexual, innermost 4-10 threadlike and female.
No ligulate florets, head disciform.
Pappus bristles with spreading cilia near base.
No milky latex.
'Flowers' appear golden due to bracts.
From J.M. Black, N.T. Burbidge, N.S. Lander.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual or biennial or short lived perennial. Grows at any time of the year with the main growth occurring in spring and early summer. Flowers all year with a main season in spring and early summer.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Mainly spring to early summer in western NSW.
Most times of the year in SA.
Throughout the year in Perth and WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.
Tends to grow in clumps.

Origin and History:

Cosmopolitan.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Widespread in Australia.

Helichrysum luteoalbum (2009)
Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Pseudognaphalium luteo-album (2009)
Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

On a wide variety of soils.
More abundant on sandy soils but also common on clays after flooding.

Plant Associations:

Many.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Medicinal herb.
Aborigines made a drink from it for treating general illness.
Lightly grazed fodder.

Detrimental:

Weed of pastures, grassland, cultivated and irrigated areas, lawns, crops, dry wooded areas, forests, mountain slopes, lake beds and disturbed areas.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

The everlastings used to be in this genus.
Helichrysum oligochaetum is a threatened species from the Pilbara.
Helichrysum leucopsideum is a native species from the wheatbelt and has white 'petals” with a yellow centre, everlasting or daisy type flowers.

Plants of similar appearance:

Cudweeds (Gnaphalium spp.)
Japanese Cudweed (Gnaphalium sphaericum)
White Cudweed (Vellerophyton dealbatum) is whiter and woollier.
Chrysocephalum apiculatum var. racemosum (was Helichrysum apiculatum) has acute tipped, ciliate involucre bracts, narrower stronger claw, pappus bristles that are barbellate in the lower part and plumose upwards and less female than bisexual flowers.

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P103. Photo.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P897, 912. Diagram.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P388-389.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P686-687. Photo.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P102-103. Photo.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #1028.1.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P701.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.