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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

19 April, 2016

Common Cudweed: or perhaps the uncommon cudweed

It may be called the common cudweed (Filago germanica) but in my experience, in Dorset at least, it seems to far from common. It is one of three species of cudweed that occurs here and the only one encountered frequently is marsh cudweed.
Cudweeds are members of the daisy family and bear those characteristics without actually looking obviously like a daisy! I know that sounds odd and I possibly have not really explained myself very well. Common cudweed has a small compound, yellow flowers which daisy-like in some ways and not in others. The leaves cling close to the main stem without opening out and are a whitish green. Again, some daisy species are similar in this respect but most are not.
Taller than marsh cudweed and much bigger than small cudweed you cannot really misidentify common cudweed if you encounter it. It is found in dry, sandy places on out heaths in July and August. It is listed in the Red Data Book as near threatened in the United Kingdom and yet elsewhere in Europe it is considered an invasive species.
Common Cudweed: or perhaps the uncommon cudweed