Galinsoga parviflora (Small-flowered Galinsoga)

Plant Info
Also known as: Gallant Soldier, Little-flower Quickweed
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:annual
Origin:South America
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; disturbed soil; roadsides, gardens, fields, waste areas
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:4 to 24 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: UPL MW: FACU NCNE: UPL
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: 5-petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] Flowers are at the end of smooth or short-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) short, white rays (petals), each notched in 2 or 3 parts, about as wide as long, and typically widely spaced around the center disk. Disk flowers are golden yellow.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are ¾ to 2½ inches long, ½ to 1½ inches wide, lance to broadly egg-shaped, blunt to pointed at the tip, tapering to rounded at the base, oppositely attached, on stalks up to ½ inch long.

[photo of stem and leaf hairs] Leaves are mostly shallowly toothed with fine hairs around the edges. Surfaces are mostly hairless except for scattered hairs on the major veins on the underside. Stems are smooth to sparsely hairy, erect to sprawling, and heavily branched.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed with plume

[photo of fruit] 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.


Likely an under-reported weed, Small-flowered Galinsoga resembles the related Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata), which is hairier overall, has larger white rays on the flowers that are typically notched in 3 parts, and has a distinct awn at the tip of seed scales. There are 2 recognized varieties of G. parviflora, though they are not universally accepted: var. semicalva has leaves that are narrower and mostly toothless, has more compact flower clusters and is present only known to be in a few southwestern US states, and var. parviflora, described above, found across much of North America, including Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Kittson County.


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

Posted by: Cathy - Plymouth
on: 2015-07-04 19:54:58

I have this in my garden. I planted some "wildflower" seeds there this spring and this is one of the flowers that appeared.

Posted by: Mary - Southern Stearns County
on: 2015-07-19 11:40:26

I have a ton of this weed in my vegetable garden and it is a terrible nuisance.

Posted by: Sandy - St. Cloud
on: 2015-09-25 10:45:25

I have had this very invasive weed in my vegetable garden for 2-3 years now. It is also slowly spreading to my other gardens. I NEVER compost the plants and always put them in yard waste bags. Have yet to figure out how the seeds are spreading as some plants have even shown up in hanging baskets. I know the key is to get them out when small before they flower. I also know Preen will prevent them from germinating but can't use Preen when planting vegetable seeds. I know Spectracide makes a spray but that also damages vegetable plants. If you have this plant, stay on top of it when you first see it. Good luck.

Posted by: mary - Baudette
on: 2016-03-07 13:27:07

One guide I read says hoe the plants down as soon as they appear. The seeds are supposedly mature immediately. It is a pest!

Posted by: Erin jensen - Hawley, Clay County near Fargo ND
on: 2018-07-03 11:41:18

I have this weed in my garden. It's plentiful. It's easy to pull out, and the flowers attract bees, but i do try to pull them out before they flower. This is only the second year i've had them here.

Posted by: Katie
on: 2018-10-17 18:28:46

To all that hate this weed :Put it to good use and eat it. It's great as a salad green or blanched and put in soups! Give it a try !

Posted by: gary - Carlton County
on: 2022-09-30 10:06:33

In gravelly soil near the gas station/grocery store in Mahtowa.

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