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Marsh Cudweed

Gnaphalium uliginosum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Fens, fields, grassland, marshes, riverbanks, riversides, wasteland, wetland.

Yellow, no petals
Unstalked dense clusters, tiny, yellow and brown.
A tiny achene with a white, hairy pappus.
Greyish or silvery-green, alternate, short-stalked, lanceolate leaves. Cottony in appearance. Leaves have entire margins.
Other Names:
Brown Cudweed, Cotton Weed, Low Cudweed, March Everlasting, Marsh Cottonweed, Mouse-ear, Mud Cudweed, Petty Cotton.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Gnaphalium uliginosum, also known as marsh cudweed or marsh cottonweed, is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family. It is native to Europe and can be found in wetland habitats, such as marshes and fens. The plant has small, white flowers with a yellow center that bloom in the summer and autumn. The flowers are surrounded by a ring of small, hairy, green bracts that resemble leaves. The plant has a hairy, branching stem and grows to be about 30 cm tall. It is a popular garden plant and is often grown for its attractive flowers and ability to tolerate damp conditions. Marsh cudweed is also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems and skin conditions.


Marsh Cudweed: A Unique and Valuable Plant for Wetlands

Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum) is a beautiful and distinctive plant species that is native to wetland environments in Europe, Asia and North America. This plant is a valuable addition to any wetland ecosystem, and is a must-have for any gardener who loves to cultivate unique and interesting plants.

Marsh Cudweed is a low-growing perennial plant that typically grows to a height of 10 to 40 cm. It has a dense rosette of green, oval-shaped leaves that are covered in fine hairs. In the summer, Marsh Cudweed produces clusters of tiny white or yellow flowers that sit on top of long, thin stems. The flowers are a favorite of many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and flies.

One of the key characteristics of Marsh Cudweed is its ability to grow in wet, marshy areas. This plant is well adapted to these conditions, and is able to thrive in areas where other plants would struggle. It is also able to tolerate periods of flooding and can withstand the harsh conditions that are common in wetlands. This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners who are looking to create a wetland habitat in their yard.

In addition to its ability to thrive in wet conditions, Marsh Cudweed is also highly valued for its attractive appearance. Its delicate flowers and lush leaves make it a great choice for use in naturalistic garden designs. It is also an excellent choice for planting in wildlife gardens, as it provides an important source of food and habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species.

Another benefit of Marsh Cudweed is that it is very easy to grow and maintain. It requires minimal care and can be grown in a variety of soils, including clay and sand. It is also resistant to many common plant diseases, making it a great choice for gardeners who want to create a low-maintenance garden.

Marsh Cudweed is a unique and valuable plant that is well suited to wetland environments. Whether you are a gardener who loves to cultivate interesting and unusual plants, or someone who is looking to create a wetland habitat in your yard, Marsh Cudweed is an excellent choice. Its ability to thrive in wet conditions, its attractive appearance, and its ease of care make it a must-have for any gardener.

While Marsh Cudweed is a highly beneficial plant for wetland ecosystems, it is important to be mindful of its potential impact on native species. In some cases, Marsh Cudweed can outcompete native plants and lead to a decline in biodiversity. For this reason, it is important to plant Marsh Cudweed in a responsible manner and to ensure that it is not spreading into areas where it may cause harm to native species.

One way to minimize the impact of Marsh Cudweed is to plant it in a contained area, such as a raised bed or a garden pond. This will help to prevent the plant from spreading into surrounding areas and will also allow you to better control its growth.

Another way to reduce the impact of Marsh Cudweed is to choose other native species to plant in your wetland garden. This will help to maintain the balance of the ecosystem and will also provide you with a wide variety of plants to enjoy. Some great options to consider include marsh marigold, reed canary grass, and meadow sweet.

Marsh Cudweed is a valuable addition to any wetland ecosystem, but it is important to be mindful of its potential impact on native species. By planting it in a responsible manner and choosing other native species to plant alongside it, you can help to maintain the balance of your wetland garden and ensure that it remains a healthy and thriving ecosystem for years to come.

Aside from its ecological benefits, Marsh Cudweed also has some medicinal properties that have been used for centuries. In traditional medicine, the plant was used as a remedy for a variety of ailments, including skin conditions and respiratory problems.

The plant contains a number of compounds that have been found to have medicinal properties, including flavonoids and tannins. These compounds are thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, making the plant a valuable natural remedy for a wide range of conditions.

Today, Marsh Cudweed is still used in traditional medicine, particularly in Europe and Asia. In these regions, the plant is used to treat respiratory problems, such as coughs and bronchitis, and to reduce inflammation in the body. It is also used as a natural remedy for skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.

It is important to note that while Marsh Cudweed has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. As with any natural remedy, it is important to consult a healthcare provider before using Marsh Cudweed as a treatment for any condition.

In conclusion, Marsh Cudweed is a valuable plant for wetland ecosystems, and it also has some medicinal properties that have been used for centuries. While there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness as a natural remedy, it is still an important plant in traditional medicine, particularly in Europe and Asia. Whether you are interested in its ecological benefits or its medicinal properties, Marsh Cudweed is a plant that is well worth considering for any wetland garden.


Marsh Cudweed filmed in the Chorley area of Lancashire on the 13th and 21st July 2023.


Music credits
Redwood Highway by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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