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globe cotton-leaf, star cudweed, tropical creeping cudweed

Habit Annuals, 5–80 cm; taprooted; stolons absent.
Aerial stems

simple or branched from bases (sometimes branched from leaf axils), thinly and persistently white-tomentose.

Leaves

basal and proximal cauline withering before flowering (blades 1-nerved, oblanceolate to spatulate);

cauline 8–12, blades linear, 2–4 cm × 1–2 mm (largest at midstem), bases not clasping, margins revolute, sometimes undulate, abaxial faces white, tomentose, adaxial faces green, glabrous.

Bracts

subtending heads 4–8, 10–30 mm, surpassing heads.

Heads

in globose clusters 10–20 mm diam.

Involucres

3.5–4 mm.

Pistillate florets

16–26.

Bisexual florets

1.

Phyllaries

brownish to tawny, sometimes purple-tinged (shiny), elliptic-lanceolate, apices acute.

Pappus

bristles distinct or basally coherent (falling in groups).

2n

= 28.

Euchiton sphaericus

Phenology Flowering Jul–Oct.
Habitat Grassy open places in wooded areas, disturbed soils, recent clearings
Elevation 30–700 m [100–2300 ft]
Distribution
from FNA
CA; OR; se Asia; Pacific Islands (Hawaii, New Guinea, New Zealand); Australia [Introduced in North America]
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Discussion

In California and Hawaii, plants of Euchiton sphaericus have been identified as Gnaphalium japonicum; annual duration, slender taproots, non-clasping leaf bases, and single bisexual florets establish the correct identity of E. sphaericus. It “varies enormously in length, position and degree of branching, and the branches may be either vegetative or flower-bearing” (D. G. Drury 1972).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 19, p. 441.
Parent taxa Asteraceae > tribe Gnaphalieae > Euchiton
Sibling taxa
E. gymnocephalus, E. involucratus
Synonyms Gnaphalium sphaericum
Name authority (Willdenow) Anderberg: Opera Bot. 104: 167. (1991)
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