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Red-tipped Cudweed

Filago lutescens

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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 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, 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:
30 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, heathland, meadows, rocky places.

Yellow, no petals
Compact clusters of tiny, yellow flowers. Similar to Common Cudweed (Filago vulgars) and Broad-leaved Cudweed (Filago pyramidata) but the bracts of Red-tipped Cudweed have bright red tips. The red tips of the bracts are the distinguishing feature of this plant.
The fruit of Red-tipped Cudweed is an achene. An achene is a type of dry, one-seeded fruit. The achene has a pappus (tuft of hairs) attached at one end.
Foliage is silvery-green with pale yellow, downy hairs. The leaves are linear, spear-shaped and fairly similar to Common Cudweed (Filago vulgars) except that Red-tipped Cudweed does not have sharply-pointed leaf tips. Also Red-tipped Cudweed has irregular branches. Grows on bare ground.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


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


Red-tipped Cudweed (Filago lutescens) is a type of flowering plant in the aster family (Asteraceae). It is native to the Mediterranean region, but it can be found growing in other parts of the world as well.

Red-tipped Cudweed has small, yellow flowers that are grouped together in clusters on top of thin, branching stems. The plant grows to a height of about 10-30 cm and has narrow, hairy leaves that are typically 2-5 cm long. The flowers are surrounded by a ring of small, red or orange bracts that give the plant its distinctive red-tipped appearance.

One of the defining features of Red-tipped Cudweed is its long blooming period. It flowers from late spring to early autumn, making it an attractive addition to gardens and wildflower meadows. The flowers are attractive to a variety of insects, including bees, butterflies, and hoverflies, which makes Red-tipped Cudweed an important source of nectar and pollen for these pollinators.

In addition to its ornamental value, Red-tipped Cudweed has also been used for medicinal purposes in traditional medicine. It has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions. However, it is important to note that the safety and efficacy of these uses have not been established through scientific studies, and more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of Red-tipped Cudweed for these purposes.

Growing Red-tipped Cudweed is relatively easy and requires little maintenance. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun, but it is also able to grow in partially shaded areas. The plant is also drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for xeriscaping or other low-water landscapes.

Red-tipped Cudweed is a beautiful and versatile plant that adds color and interest to gardens and wildflower meadows. Its long blooming period, attractive flowers, and drought tolerance make it an ideal choice for gardeners and nature lovers alike.

Red-tipped Cudweed is a member of the genus Filago, which includes around 20 species of flowering plants. It is a popular choice for use in rock gardens, wildflower meadows, and as a border plant in gardens.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, Red-tipped Cudweed is also a valuable food source for wildlife. The seeds of the plant are eaten by birds, such as finches and buntings, while the foliage is consumed by small mammals, such as rabbits and hares.

It is also an important plant for beekeepers as it is a valuable source of nectar and pollen for honeybees and other pollinators. This not only helps to support the health of these insects, but also contributes to the overall health and diversity of ecosystems.

When growing Red-tipped Cudweed, it is important to plant it in a location that receives full sun or partial shade. The plant is relatively low maintenance and does not require much in the way of fertilization or irrigation. In fact, it is often grown in xeriscape gardens, where water conservation is a priority.

Red-tipped Cudweed can also be propagated by seed or by dividing the root clumps. When planting from seed, it is best to sow the seeds in the fall, as this will help to ensure good germination rates.

Red-tipped Cudweed is a versatile and attractive plant that provides a range of benefits for gardeners, nature lovers, and wildlife alike. With its low maintenance requirements and long blooming period, it is an excellent choice for gardens and wildflower meadows.

It is also worth mentioning that Red-tipped Cudweed is a hardy plant that is able to withstand a range of environmental conditions. It is able to grow in soils with low fertility, making it a good choice for poor or rocky soils. Additionally, it is able to withstand drought conditions, which is important in regions with low rainfall or dry summers.

Another benefit of Red-tipped Cudweed is its ability to attract beneficial insects to the garden. As mentioned earlier, the plant is a popular food source for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. This not only helps to support the health of these insects, but also contributes to the overall health of ecosystems by promoting plant pollination and seed production.

In addition to its ornamental and ecological benefits, Red-tipped Cudweed is also a low-allergen plant. This makes it an ideal choice for gardeners who suffer from allergies, as it is unlikely to cause any adverse reactions.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Red-tipped Cudweed is a tough and resilient plant that is able to withstand some degree of disturbance. This makes it a good choice for gardens and landscapes that are frequently used or disturbed, as it is able to recover quickly from damage or trampling.

In conclusion, Red-tipped Cudweed is a valuable and versatile plant that provides a range of benefits for gardeners, nature lovers, and the environment. Whether you are looking to attract pollinators, add color and interest to your garden, or support the health of local ecosystems, Red-tipped Cudweed is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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