Galinsoga quadriradiata (Shaggy Soldier)
|Also known as:||Hairy galinsoga, Quick Weed, Peruvian Daisy|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; disturbed soil, fields, along roads,|
|Bloom season:||June - October|
|Plant height:||6 to 24 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are at the end of hairy stalks arising from the leaf axils in the upper plant and at the tips of branching stems. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch across with 4 to 8 (usually 5) white rays (petals), each notched in 3 parts and about as wide as long. The center disk flowers are golden yellow.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 2½ inches long and 2 inches wide, coarsely toothed, sparsely to densely hairy, with a pointed tip and somewhat rounded or tapering base, oppositely attached. There are 3 distinct veins radiating from the base of the leaf. Leaf stalks are up to 1½ inches long near the base of the plant; becoming shorter as leaves ascend the stem; leaves in the upper plant are stalkless or nearly so. Stems are densely hairy and heavily branched.
Both the ray and disk flowers produce a dry seed, with 5 or more narrow scales attached at the tip, each scale fringed around the edges and with an awn at the tip.
Shaggy Soldier is a weedy plant that may grow erect or sprawling. The plants in most of these photos were found coming up through cracks in the pavement along the side of the road. It is similar to the related Small-flowered Galinsoga (Galinsoga parviflora), which is less hairy overall, has smaller white rays on the flowers, and the seed scales lack the awn at the tip.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek Regional Park, Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?