Plant DetailShow Menu

Purple Everlasting Gamochaeta purpurea

Previously known as:

  • Gnaphalium purpureum
Phonetic Spelling
gam-oh-KY-ay-ta pur-PUR-ee-uh
Description

Early cudweed is a native annual or biennial in the Asteraceae (daisy family).  It can be found in coastal areas, grasslands, forest edges, fields, weedy gardens, waste places, along roadsides, and in disturbed areas and flowers its first year.  It is native to North America but is considered a winter annual weed in other parts of the world. In some states, such as Massachusetts, it is considered endangered and is protected.

The fuzzy erect stems grow to 1 foot with soft gray-green leaves that form small basal rosettes and are alternate on the stem. Its roots are shallow and fibrous and sometimes have a taproot. The flowers are disc flowers only with no rays. It is a host plant for the American lady butterfly. Herbivores will browse the leaves.

This plant is often found in sandy dry soils and prefers full sun. It will tolerate sites that are occasionally wet.

This is the least weedy of the Gamochaeta plants and it is sometimes confused with Gamochaeta pensylvanica or Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems. However, it is becoming endangered in some areas partially to being crowded out by non-native weeds.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeds#weedy#winter annual weed#NC native#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#disturbed areas#annual weed#native weed#butterfly friendly#roadside#coastal#fuzzy#sandy soil#dry soil tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeds#weedy#winter annual weed#NC native#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#disturbed areas#annual weed#native weed#butterfly friendly#roadside#coastal#fuzzy#sandy soil#dry soil tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gamochaeta
    Species:
    purpurea
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It was used by Native Americans as a tea for colds and flu.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , AZ , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , MT , NC , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV Canada: ON
    Wildlife Value:
    host plant for the American lady butterfly
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Native Plant
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Achenes are tan in color, bullet shaped, 0.5 mm long and slimy when wet. They are topped with bristly pappus fused into a ring at the base.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Up to 50 disc flowers that lack rays per head. Individual flowers are only 1/4 wide, tubular and white to purple. The flowers appear from April through June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Obovate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Fuzzy gray-green alternate leaves are simple with smooth margins, occasionally somewhat wavy. They are stemless, have a pointed tip and wedge-shaped base. They are 1 to 3 inches long and 1/2 to 1/3 inch wide. The upper surface is sparsely hairy and is greener in appearance than the under surface which is densely wooly and appears whitish. There is a prominent central vein.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stem is hairy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy