Pseudognaphalium macounii (Greene) Kartesz
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
Pseudognaphalium macounii are annual
or biennial plants
that are native to North America;
they are often sweetly fragrant; they are from 40 to 90 cm high; the plants are
Pseudognaphalium macounii belongs to the
(gnaphalion) is a plant
described by Pedanius Dioscorides, (3,132), the Greek physician,
pharmacologist and botanist from Anazarbus (Cilicia, Asia Minor) who practised
in ancient Rome during the time of Nero. He wrote one of the most influential
herbal books in history, Materia medica, a book that remained in use
until the Renaissance. The French name of the plant is cotonnière. a
cottony plant; it is a plant that was used to fill up mattresses.
In Greek, ψευδησ
(pseudês) means false, so that the genus name refers to a plant
that is a bit like the Ganphalium but differs somewhat from it.
For botanists, the Pseudognaphalium genus is distinguished from
genus because it includes annual, biannual or perennial herbs,
with oblong or
monochromous involucral bracts
as well as for having female florets more numerous than
disposed in two or more series.
John Macoun was born in Magheralin, County Down, Ireland in 1831.
In 1850 the worsening economic situation in Ireland led his family to emigrate
to Canada, where he settled in Seymour Township, Ontario and began farming.
Unsatisfied as a farmer, he became a school teacher in 1856. It was during this time that he developed a nearly obsessive interest in botany. Although his
formal education was slight, his knowledge and dedication to field work became
sufficiently advanced that he gained the notice and respect of several
professional botanists. This allowed him in 1868 to secure a faculty position
as a Professor of Botany and Geology at St. Alberts College in Belleville. He
was a prolific collector and cataloguer of Canadian flora and fauna.
Macoun died 18 July 1920. The epithet
given to the species honors his memory.
Some of the vernacular names of
Pseudognaphalium macounii are
Clammy Everlasting, Viscid Cudweed, Northern Cudweed,
Balsamweed, Balsam weed, Balsam-weed, Macoun's cudweed, Life everlasting,
Sweet balsam, White everlasting, Winged cudweed, Everlasting
and Macoun's Rabbit Tobacco.
The French common names are Gnaphale de Macoun and
Pseudognaphalium macounii has also been known as:
- Gnaphalium decurrens Ives
- Gnaphalium ivesii A. Nelson & J. F. Macbr
- Gnaphalium macounii Greene
- Pseudognaphalium viscosum auct. non (Kunth) W. A. Weber
Species similar to Pseudognaphalium macounii are
Anaphalis margaritacea. But the flower heads of the later are more
attractive with dry, petal like white bracts.
Pseudognaphalium macounii is also very similar to
Pseudognaphalium macounii is recognized by its
glabrescent stems, bicolor and
relatively large and many-flowered heads, and
The leaves of Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium are
sessile, but not decurrent,
and the plant lacks the glandular hairs. Furthermore, the flower heads of
Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium are more elongate and pointed at the
Pseudognaphalium macounii has unattractive, white, barrel-shaped flowers,
arranged in terminal clusters. Its stem and leaves are woolly.
- Lanceolate to
- 3 to 10 cm long by 3 to 13 mm wide.
- With non clasping bases.
- With flat to slightly
- With weakly bicolor faces, the
the adaxial ones stipitate-glandular,
and, sometimes, glabrescent or
- In corymbiform arrays.
- With from 50 to 200 disk florets,
and many more pistillate florets
than bisexual florets.
- Without ray florets.
- With 4 to 5 series of stramineous
to creamy phyllaries.
- In bloom from August to September in my area,
25 km north of Montréal.
- A smooth, dry cypsela.
- With a fluffy pappus.
Pseudognaphalium macounii is found in fields and pastures or woodland
clearings and margins, along roadsides, in sunny areas and dry soil.
Pseudognaphalium macounii is found in all of the southern Canada and in
most of the USA. The maps shows the Canadian provinces and USA states where the
plant can be found.
Native Americans used
Pseudognaphalium macounii for colds, sweat bath for various disease
and considered one of their most valuable medical plants.
Indians of the Yosemite Region used the pungent leaves of
Pseudognaphalium macounii as a
poultice on any swelling;
the flowers and leaves were used after heating them in a fire to make
them sticky. A decoction of the leaves was drunk for colds and stomach trouble.
The photos of the gallery were taken either with one of the following:
Minolta DiMAGE 7,
Canon PowerShot A530,
Canon Xt Rebel, usually with the EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM objective,
Fujifilm A 610 and
EPSON Perfection 1650 (scanner).
The title in the window shows the date when the picture was taken,
i.e. jan_30_06... would mean that the photo was taken on the 30th of
January, the 06 is for the 6th picture taken that day.
The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter which I use
to identify the system used to take the picture.
Click on the thumbnails to get larger view.
The original photos are usually in TIFF format,
the photos shown are generally in JPEG format,
often of dimensions one half (surface one quarter)
for loading time reduction.