Filago vulgaris Lam.

common cotton-rose

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Common cotton-rose arrived in North America before 1739, but modern collections are few, suggesting that this species may be dying out in North America or at least not expanding its range. In New England, it has been collected only in Massachusetts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
Ray flower color
NA
Tuft or plume on fruit
at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
15–30 mm
Flower head width
1.5–2 mm
Disk flower number
21-50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract color
    the bracts are colored, or at least tinged with, pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there is one main cycle of bracts
    Bract keels
    there is one distinct keel on the bracts
    Bract margins
    there are few or no fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract outer side hair type
    • NA
    • the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    • NA
    • the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract separation
    NA
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract texture
    the bracts appear thin, flexible and nearly translucent
    Bract tip color
    the tips are a different color from the center of the bract
    Bract tip orientation
    the bracts are pressed against the plant, or spreading out at the tips
    Bract tip shape
    the tips of the bracts are acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    Bracts
    NA
    Disk flower color
    white
    Disk flower number
    21-50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    • the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    • the disk flower has either only pollen- or only seed-producing parts
    • the disk flower has no reproductive parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is tube-shaped (cylindrical), or gradually widening like a funnel
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, the flowers have no enlarged lobe or strap, and are of similar size as those in the center of the disk
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head platform surface
    the scales are smooth, no visible hairs
    Flower head position
    some or all the flower heads are grouped in clusters of two or more
    Flower head profile
    NA
    Flower head shape
    NA
    Flower head width
    1.5–2 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
    Height of flower head base
    0 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is not flat-topped but appears rounded, with some flower heads distinctly higher than others
    Inflorescence stem
    hairs are present on the stem of the inflorescence
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    0–1
    Ovary attachment
    the ovary is attached at or near the base
    Ovary cross-section
    • the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    • the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    • in profile, the ovary is oblong (roughly rectangular but rounded at the ends)
    • in profile, the ovary is roughly egg-shaped
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles are hairy
    Ray flower color
    NA
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Ray flowers
    0
    Ray length
    0 mm
    Reproductive system
    some of the flowers on the plant have only carpels or stamens, while others have both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    the scales are acuminate (taper to a very narrow point) or aristate (tipped with a slender bristle)
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is a cycle of much smaller bracts outside the cycle of larger and longer bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Width of flower head base
    0 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    • 10
    • 11 or more
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    0.5–0.8 mm
    Ovary width in developed fruit
    At least 0.2 mm
    Seed hair tuft details
    the pappus hairs are smooth and plain
    Seed hair tuft tips
    the pappus hairs are slender
    Seed hairs uniform
    all the pappus hairs are approximately the same length
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of very fine hairs or bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • Glands or sap
    Bract resin
    the bracts have no resin or resin glands
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is annual, it lacks evidence of previous years' growth
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is rounded
    Leaf blade bloom
    NA
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has tangled or woolly-looking hairs
    Leaf blade length
    15–30 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    2–4 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hair type
    at least some of the hairs on the stem are tangled, matted or woolly
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Logfia minima:
chaff of carpellate flowers blunt at apex, +/- saccate, enclosing a disk flower, and receptable obovoid to abruptly expanded at apex, 0.4-1.6 times as tall as wide (vs. F. vulgaris, with chaff of carpellate flowers acuminate to aristate at apex, not saccate, merely enfolding a disk flower, and receptacle clavate, 5-15 times as tall as wide).

Synonyms

  • Filago germanica L.

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Filago

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Filago vulgaris Lam. E

common cotton-rose. Filago germanica L. • MA. Dry-mesic, sandy soils of fields, roadsides, 
and waste areas.