Annuals or biennials, 30-60(-80) cm; taprooted. Stems (1+ from base, erect to ascending) loosely tomentose, not glandular. Leaf blades (crowded, internodes usually 1-5, sometimes to 10 mm) oblong to narrowly oblanceolate or subspatulate, 2-8(-9.5) cm × 2-5(-10) mm (smaller distally, narrowly lanceolate to linear), bases subclasping, usually not decurrent, sometimes decurrent 1-2 mm, margins flat or slightly revolute, faces concolor, loosely and persistently gray-tomentose, not glandular. Heads in terminal glomerules (1-2 cm diam.). Involucres subglobose, 4-6 mm. Phyllaries in 4-5 series, whitish (often yellowish with age, hyaline, shiny), ovate to oblong-obovate, glabrous. Pistillate florets 160-200. Bisexual florets [8-]18-28. Cypselae weakly, if at all, ridged (otherwise smooth or papillate-roughened, glabrous, without papilliform hairs; pappus bristles loosely coherent basally, released in clusters or easily fragmented rings). 2n = 28. Flowering Mar-Oct. Sandy fields, streamsides, washes, swales, dunes, chaparral slopes, roadsides, fields, disturbed places, moist disturbed places; 10-1600 m; B.C.; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Oreg., S.C., Tex., Utah, Va., Wash., Wyo.; Mexico; South America. Pseudognaphalium stramineum is probably native from South America to western North America; it is adventive in sandy fields on the Atlantic coastal plain, where it flowers May-Aug.
The mainly western sp. G. stramineum Kunth is casually intr. in our range, as on the coast of Va. It has basally adnate-auriculate, not at all glandular lvs and very numerous (commonly 150-200+) fls per head, 8-20(-26) of them perfect. (G. chilense)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
FNA 2006, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual to biennial herbs, to 60 cm tall; stems 1 or a few per plant, simple or branching above; herbage closely covered with a greenish or yellowish tomentum (covering of matted wooly hairs). Leaves: Alternate and crowded on the stems; upper leaves with decurrent bases (leaf bases extending downward along the stem), lower leaves with winged petioles; blades 2-8 cm long, 3-15 mm wide, gray-tomentose on both sides, the margins entire and flat or slightly revolute (curling). Flowers: Flower heads discoid, arranged in dense glomerules, 1-2 cm across, at branch tips; involucre (ring of bracts wrapped around flower head) almost spherical, 4-6 mm high, the bracts (phyllaries) strongly overlapping in 4-5 series, membraneous, whitish, often yellowish with age, and shiny with obtuse tips; florets all discs, the corollas evenly yellowish. Fruits: Achenes brownish, smooth, less than 1 mm long; topped with a pappus of bristles, 5-6 mm long, these distinct from each other and released in clusters or easily fragmented rings. Ecology: Found along streams, sandy fields, washes, swales, dunes, chaparral slopes, roadsides, fields, and disturbed places,below 5,500 ft (1676 m); flowers May-October. Distribution: Most of western N. Amer., from B.C., CAN south to CA and east to NE, OK and TX; south to s MEX. Notes: Look for this species under Gnaphalium chilense in older texts. Good identifiers for P. stramineum are the decurrent leaves nearly the same color on both sides; the flower heads 4-6 mm high with obtuse-tipped phyllaries and yellowish corollas (corollas never red or purple-tipped as in P. luteoalbum and Gamochaeta purpurea and G. stagnalis). Ethnobotany: A hot poultice of the leaves or stems was applied to parts of the body swollen or affected by pain, the plant used as a ceremonial emetic, and the leaves were chewed for fun. Etymology: Pseudognaphalium is false gnaphalium, the former genus name, while stramineum means straw colored. Synonyms: Gnaphalium chilense, G. chilense var. confertifolium, G. stramineum Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, FSCoburn 2015