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Narrow-leaved Cudweed

Filago gallica

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.
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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 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 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:
50 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, heathland, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, no petals
Clusters of yellow, minute flowers.
The fruit is an achene with a pappus.
Narrow, linear leaves, up to 2cm long. The leaves are also downy and silvery white. Similar in appearance as Small Cudweed (Filago minima) but more widely branched. The leaves are also narrower and longer with green edges. Once extinct from Britain but reintroduced since 1696. Narrow-leaved Cudweed now grows wild in Essex.
Other Names:
Daggerleaf Cottonrose, Grass-leaved Cudweed, Narrow Filago, Narrowleaf Cottonrose.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Filago gallica is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family, native to Europe and western Asia. It is a small herbaceous plant with a woody base, and it produces small, yellow flowers that resemble daisies. It is often found in dry, rocky or gravelly soils, and it is a common component of grasslands, meadows, and other open, sunny habitats. In traditional medicine, Filago gallica has been used as a diuretic and to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory conditions, skin irritation, and digestive problems. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these uses.


Narrow-leaved Cudweed, also known as Filago gallica, is a small herbaceous plant that belongs to the aster family. This plant is native to Europe and parts of Asia, but can now be found in other regions of the world, including North America. It is a low-growing plant that is commonly found in fields, meadows, and disturbed areas.

One of the defining features of Narrow-leaved Cudweed is its small, gray-green leaves, which are narrow and linear in shape. The leaves are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant and grow to be only a few centimeters in length. The plant produces small, yellow flowerheads that are arranged in clusters at the end of stems. These flowers bloom from May to September, providing an important source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

In addition to its attractive flowers, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is also valued for its medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, skin conditions, and digestive issues. In traditional medicine, the plant was often used as a poultice or made into a tea, which was then consumed to relieve symptoms.

Despite its many benefits, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is often considered to be a weed, as it can be quite invasive and difficult to control. The plant is able to reproduce both sexually, through the production of seeds, and asexually, through the growth of vegetative shoots. This allows the plant to spread quickly and take over an area, making it a challenge for farmers and gardeners.

Despite its classification as a weed, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is a valuable plant that deserves recognition for its many benefits. Its small size and attractive flowers make it a popular choice for rock gardens and other low-maintenance landscaping projects. Additionally, its medicinal properties make it an important plant for traditional medicine.

Narrow-leaved Cudweed, or Filago gallica, is a small, but important plant that has a lot to offer. Its attractive flowers and medicinal properties make it a valuable addition to any landscape or herb garden. Despite its reputation as a weed, this plant is a valuable resource that deserves to be appreciated and protected.

Narrow-leaved Cudweed is a hardy plant that is able to thrive in a variety of conditions. It can grow in soil that is either moist or dry, and can tolerate some level of drought. The plant is also able to tolerate cold temperatures, making it well-suited to temperate regions.

In terms of its cultural requirements, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. It does not require frequent watering or fertilizing, and can grow well in full sun or partial shade. The plant can be propagated through the division of its rosettes or by sowing its seeds.

One interesting fact about Narrow-leaved Cudweed is that it has been used as a source of food by various species of wildlife, including rabbits and deer. The plant's leaves and stems are edible, and are sometimes consumed by livestock as well. Additionally, the plant's seeds are a valuable food source for birds, providing them with a source of nutrition during the winter months.

In addition to its many practical uses, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is also an important plant for the ecosystem. As a member of the aster family, it provides a crucial source of nectar and pollen for pollinators, helping to support the health of the local environment. Additionally, its ability to grow in disturbed areas makes it an important plant for restoring damaged habitats.

Narrow-leaved Cudweed is a versatile and hardy plant that has a lot to offer. Whether it is valued for its medicinal properties, its attractive flowers, or its importance to the ecosystem, this plant is a valuable resource that should be appreciated and protected. If you are interested in growing Narrow-leaved Cudweed, it is easy to find seeds or plants at your local nursery or online. With its low-maintenance requirements and attractive appearance, this plant is sure to be a valuable addition to any landscape or herb garden.

Narrow-leaved Cudweed is also known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a valuable plant for use in traditional medicine. The plant's leaves and stems contain compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties.

In terms of its use in traditional medicine, Narrow-leaved Cudweed has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including respiratory problems, skin conditions, and digestive issues. It has been used as a cough remedy, as well as a treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The plant has also been used to treat digestive issues, such as indigestion and flatulence.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is also used in a number of other ways. For example, it is sometimes used as a natural dye for textiles, producing a yellow or greenish-yellow color. The plant's stems and leaves are also sometimes used as stuffing for pillows and mattresses, as they have a soft and fluffy texture.

In terms of its impact on the environment, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is generally considered to be a beneficial plant. Its ability to grow in disturbed areas, as well as its ability to support pollinators, makes it an important part of the ecosystem. However, its invasive nature can also be problematic, particularly in areas where it is not native. In these cases, it is important to be mindful of its impact on the environment and to take steps to control its spread.

In conclusion, Narrow-leaved Cudweed is a versatile and valuable plant that has a lot to offer. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties, its use as a natural dye, or its importance to the ecosystem, this plant is a resource that is well worth exploring. If you are interested in growing Narrow-leaved Cudweed, be sure to choose a location that is suitable for its growth and take steps to control its spread, if necessary. With its low-maintenance requirements and attractive appearance, this plant is sure to be a valuable addition to any landscape or herb garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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