Gnaphalium uliginosum (Low Cudweed)

Plant Info
Also known as: Marsh Cudweed
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:annual
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist disturbed soil, along shores, wet meadows
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:2 to 10 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FAC
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: flat

[photo of flowers] Small, tight clusters in the leaf axils and at the end of many branching stems. Flowers are tiny, brown to yellowish, and look like buds or flowers that have already died back and turned brown.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 2 inches long, up to 1/8 inch wide, toothless, covered in white woolly hair, often a bit wavy around the edges, pointed at the tip with no leaf stalk. The stems typically spread out from the base, making it wider than tall, and are also densely covered in woolly hairs, giving them a whitish cast.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed with plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a small brown seed with a tuft of light brown hair to carry it off in the wind.


Found in disturbed sandy and gravelly shores, banks, roadsides, empty lots and other weedy areas, this is another species that is likely under-reported in Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Carlton St. Louis counties. Gnaphalium uliginosum fruit by AnRo0002, via Wikimedia Commons, used under CC0 (public domain).


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Nyta - Duluth, Piedmont Area
on: 2023-06-28 15:54:39

I have been seeing it in my garden for 28 years and have been searching for a name in books and online. Finally last year it was identified with a phone app as Marsh Cudweed :)

Posted by: Cindy - Minneapolis (Powderhorn neighborhood)
on: 2024-05-07 16:32:37

This pretty much took over the slope down to the sidewalk in my (and my neighbor's) scrubby front yard this year. (In previous years I'd see a few of these in the boulevard strip, but nothing like this year!). Very hard to pull out, but satisfying when you can get the long tap root out!

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