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Gallant Soldier

Galinsoga parviflora

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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, 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 Cudweed, 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:
60 centimetres tall
Fields, towns, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
The flowers have short, hairy stalks. The central flower disc is a golden yellow colour. The tiny, very widely spaced, white petals are notched and sometimes double notched. There are usually 5 petals but there can be anything between 4 and 8. Insect-pollinated. The leaf margins are shallowly toothed. Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata) is an almost identical plant to Gallant Soldier but there are a few differences to be aware of that can help differentiate them. Shaggy Soldier is a hairier plant all over and has slightly longer petals.
A dry seed with 5 or more scales at the end. The edges of the scales are fringed.
An annual flower with opposite, stalked, simple, broad, pointed leaves, up to 7cm in length.
Other Names:
Common Quickweed, Galinsoga, Gallant-soldier Weed, Lesser Quickweed, Littleflower Quickweed, Peruvian Daisy, Potato Weed, Quickweed, Small Galinsoga, Small-flowered Galinsoga, Soldiers of the Queen.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Galinsoga parviflora, also known as common quickweed or smallflower galinsoga, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to Central and South America, but has been introduced to other parts of the world as a weed. It is a small, erect annual plant that grows to a height of 20-60 cm. The leaves are lanceolate and the flowers are small, white or yellow, and arranged in dense, terminal clusters. It is considered a weed due to its ability to grow quickly and outcompete other plants. It is also known to have medicinal properties.


Gallant Soldier, Galinsoga parviflora, is a species of plant in the Asteraceae family. It is a small herbaceous annual plant that is native to South and Central America but has spread to many other regions, including Europe, North America, and Asia. Gallant Soldier is known by many names, including Peruvian Daisy, Quickweed, Potato Weed, and Gallant-soldier weed. This plant is widely considered a weed, but it has some interesting characteristics and uses.


Gallant Soldier typically grows to a height of 30-60 cm, with a slightly hairy stem that branches out. The leaves are opposite, slightly hairy, and triangular with serrated edges. The flowers are small, white, and daisy-like, with five petals that surround a yellow center. The plant produces small, black, oblong-shaped seeds.

Habitat and Distribution

Gallant Soldier prefers to grow in disturbed areas such as fields, gardens, and roadsides. It can also thrive in wetlands, riparian areas, and forest edges. The plant is native to South and Central America, but it has spread to many other regions, including North America, Europe, and Asia. It is now considered an invasive weed in many of these areas.


Despite its reputation as a weed, Gallant Soldier has some interesting uses. In traditional medicine, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including colds, coughs, and fevers. It has also been used as a diuretic and a digestive aid. Gallant Soldier contains several bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids, which may explain its medicinal properties.

Gallant Soldier is also a source of food for some animals. The leaves and stems are eaten by livestock, and the seeds are consumed by birds. Some people also consume the leaves and flowers of Gallant Soldier as a salad green, although it is not a common practice.

In addition, Gallant Soldier has been used in scientific research. It is a model organism for studying plant growth and development, as well as plant responses to environmental stresses such as drought and salt.


While Gallant Soldier has some beneficial uses, it is also considered an invasive weed that can harm native plant species and ecosystems. It is a fast-growing plant that can compete with other plants for resources, and its ability to self-pollinate means that it can spread quickly and easily. As a result, many countries have listed Gallant Soldier as a noxious weed and have implemented measures to control its spread.


Gallant Soldier, Galinsoga parviflora, is a small herbaceous annual plant that is native to South and Central America but has spread to many other regions. It is known by many names, including Peruvian Daisy, Quickweed, and Gallant-soldier weed. Gallant Soldier has some interesting characteristics and uses, including traditional medicinal uses, animal forage, and scientific research applications. However, it is also considered an invasive weed that can harm native plant species and ecosystems. Therefore, it is important to monitor and control its spread to prevent further damage to the environment.

More Information

Gallant Soldier is an adaptable and resilient plant that can survive in a variety of conditions, including poor soil and drought. This makes it difficult to control once it has become established in an area. It is also able to reproduce quickly and prolifically, with each plant capable of producing up to 10,000 seeds.

The spread of Gallant Soldier has been facilitated by human activity, including the movement of soil and contaminated agricultural products. It is also able to grow in disturbed areas such as construction sites, which can provide it with a foothold in new locations.

Efforts to control the spread of Gallant Soldier have included the use of chemical herbicides, physical removal, and biological control methods such as the use of natural enemies such as insects or fungal pathogens. However, these methods can have unintended consequences, such as harming non-target species or damaging ecosystems. Therefore, integrated approaches that combine multiple control methods may be more effective.

Gallant Soldier is a plant that has both beneficial and detrimental aspects. It has been used for medicinal purposes and is a source of food for some animals, but it can also harm native plant species and ecosystems. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor its spread and take appropriate measures to control it. As with many invasive species, prevention is the best approach, and early detection and rapid response can help minimize the impact of this plant on the environment.

There are some interesting facts about Gallant Soldier that are worth noting. One of these is that it is able to flower and set seed at a very young age. This means that it can quickly establish a population in a new area and outcompete other plant species.

Another interesting fact is that Gallant Soldier has been found to have allelopathic effects on other plants, meaning that it can release chemicals that inhibit the growth of nearby plants. This may give it an advantage in competing for resources.

Despite its invasive nature, Gallant Soldier has been used as an ornamental plant in some areas. Its attractive flowers and ability to grow in a variety of conditions make it a popular choice for some gardeners. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of introducing this plant to new areas, and to take steps to prevent its spread.

Overall, Gallant Soldier is a fascinating plant that has both beneficial and detrimental aspects. It is important to continue researching this species to better understand its characteristics and potential impacts on the environment, and to develop effective control strategies that minimize its negative effects while preserving its beneficial uses.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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