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Genus Gnaphalium Family Asteraceae

Description: Annual and perennial woolly herbs.

Leaves basal and/or cauline, alternate, sessile, entire.

Inflorescence a cluster of small almost sessile heads. Heads cylindrical to ovoid; involucral bracts 2–5-seriate, widely spreading in fruit, scarious or with a herbaceous base and midrib; receptacle ± convex, naked. Outer florets female; style branches filiform, glabrous. Inner florets bisexual, tubular, 5-merous, fertile; anthers with short terminal appendages; style branches terete, truncate with papillose apices.

Achenes all similar, subterete, ± papillose; pappus of barbellate bristles, sometimes absent from the female florets, not persistent.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence:

There are now 4 genera within Gnaphalium (Flora of NSW Vol. 3, 1992). Argyrotegium, Euchiton, Gamochaeta and Gnaphalium, see Key to species below.

Text by J. Everett
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Heads solitary2
Infloresences of several to many heads4
2Leaves crowded and overlapping, satiny with tightly appressed hairs, the margins incurvedArgyrotegium nitidulum
Leaves many but not regularly overlapping, softly woolly with loose hairs
                       Back to 1
3
3Outer involucral bracts loosely woolly; heads always solitary on long pedunclesEuchiton traversii
Outer involucral bracts glabrous; heads often sessile
                       Back to 2
Argyrotegium mackayi
4Heads in globose, terminal clusters or indistinct leafy inflorescences5
Heads in distinct elongate often leafy spikes, or a large corymb of spike-like branches
                       Back to 1
13
5Upper surface of leaves similar to lower surface in colour and indumentum6
Upper surface of leaves distinctly darker than lower surface and glabrous or with many fewer hairs than the woolly lower surface
                       Back to 4
10
6Leaves very fine, linear or narrow-oblong, 1–2 mm wideGnaphalium indutum
Leaves oblanceolate to obovate, more than 3 mm wide
                       Back to 5
7
7Leaves satiny with tightly appressed hairsArgyrotegium fordianum
Leaves softly woolly with loose hairs
                       Back to 6
8
8Outer involucral bracts with dense long hairs obscuring the heads; heads in tight terminal globose clusters; confined to arid areas of western N.S.WGnaphalium diamantinense
Outer involucral bracts glabrous or woolly only at the base, in no way obscuring the heads; heads in loose groups; grows in alpine or montane areas of eastern N.S.W
                       Back to 7
9
9Heads on long peduncles with few leaves; mat-forming perennialArgyrotegium mackayi
Heads sessile on leafy branches; erect or ascending annuals or perennials
                       Back to 8
Argyrotegium poliochlorum
10Involucral bracts acuminate, the tips delicate and deeply lacerate; species of subalpine or montane areasEuchiton umbricola
Involucral bracts obtuse to broad-acute, firm and leathery; widespread species
                       Back to 5
11
11Heads subtended by large, leafy bracts, much longer than the diameter of the head; basal rosette soon withering12
Heads without visible subtending bracts or with bracts only a little longer than the diameter of the head; basal rosette persistent
                       Back to 10
Euchiton japonicus
12Annuals; heads mostly 1–2 mm diam., with a single bisexual floret per headEuchiton sphaericus
Stoloniferous perennials; heads 2–4 mm diam., with 3 or more bisexual florets per head
                       Back to 11
Euchiton involucratus
13Leaves densely white woolly on both surfaces14
Leaves darker and with fewer hairs (to glabrescent) on the upper surface than the lower surface; large leafy annuals with distinct basal rosettes
                       Back to 4
15
14Involucral bracts with broad, membranous tips; stems, leaves and inflorescences more or less obscured by loose white woolly hairs; weak decumbent annualGnaphalium polycaulon
Involucral bracts firm and leathery to the tip; stems, leaves and inflorescences with tangled but appressed hairs giving a satiny appearance; robust erect or prostrate herb
                       Back to 13
Gamochaeta calviceps
15Heads surrounded by and almost obscured by, long woolly hairs; leaves loosely woolly on lower surfaceGamochaeta pensylvanica
Woolly hairs at the base of the heads limited to the peduncles; leaves with fine, appressed hairs below, or glabrous
                       Back to 13
16
16Leaves with a prominent paler midvein on the upper surface; inflorescences usually a closed spikeGamochaeta coarctata
Leaves concolorous on the upper surface; inflorescences slightly loose and spreading, the heads not held together tightly
                       Back to 15
Gamochaeta purpurea

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