The genus Pseudognaphalium Kirpicznikov
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
Plants of the Pseudognaphalium
They are sometimes aromatic.
Their stems are woolly-tomentose.
Their leaves are alternate,
their abaxial faces are white to gray and
tomentose to velutinous;
their adaxial faces are usually greenish
to gray and glabrous or
glabrescent or sometimes loosely
Their flower heads are
disciform usually in
paniculiform arrays, and sometimes
in terminal clusters.
They have from 2 to 10 series of phyllaries
that are whitish, rosy, tawny, or brownish.
Their peripheral florets are
inner florets are bisexual and less
numerous than the peripheral florets.
Their fruits are small cypselae with a
readily falling pappus of around 10
Their number of chromosomes (n) is
There are about 100 species in the genus,
of which 21 are found in North America, but only two in Québec:
Species of the Pseudognaphalium are found worldwide but mostly in
South America to North America, and mostly in temperate regions.
The genus 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
campanulate heads, monochromous
Some species of the Pseudognaphalium genus are used in popular
phytotherapy and are called collectively
with the vernacular name of
vira vira, a name Mapudungun in origin; it means herb to get rid off
Mapudungun (mapu means earth and dungun means
to speak) is a language isolate spoken in central Chile and west central
Argentina by the Mapuche (che means people) people.
It is also known as Mapudungu, Araucanian (Araucano) (the name
given to the Mapuche people by the Spanish, it sometimes has a negative
connotation) and Mapuche. Its speakers number 440,000, with 400,000 in
the Central Valley of Chile and 40,000 in the Argentinian region of Patagonia.
Some 200,000 people use the language regularly.