Cudweed

Scientific Name(s): Gnaphalium, Pseudognaphalium, and Gamochaeta species
Abundance: plentiful
What: leaves, stem
How: tea, smoked
Where: yards, fields, disturbed areas
When: fall, winter, spring
Nutritional Value: medicinal
Dangers: do not eat, only smoked or drank as tea


Grey-colored cudweed (Gnaphalium spicatum) are considered the best medicine of the common yard weed.
Cudweed Rabbit Tobacco

Mature cudweed (Gnaphalium spicatum)going to flower.
Cudweed

Close-up of cudweed (Gnaphalium spicatum) stem. Note the fuzzy stem and alternating leaves.
Cudweed

Close-up of cudweed (Gnaphalium spicatum) flowers.
Cudweed

Close-up of cudweed (Gnaphalium spicatum) fluffy seeds.
Cudweed

Another common cudweed (Gnaphalicum spicatum) is green on top with whiteish-grey undersides.
Cudweed

Cudweed (Gnaphalicum spicatum) going to flower.
Cudweed

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
CudweedTX

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
CudweedNA


Many yards and disturbed areas end up filled with cud weeds come the cool months in Texas. The tops of cudweed leaves can be either green or grey depending on the species but the undersides are always white-grey. They start out as a rosette but then one or more stems grows either upwards or outwards from the taproot. Cudweeds have alternating leaves with a pinnate vein structure. Stems are fuzzy and so are the leaves. When mature, the tips of the stems turn even fuzzier, reminding me of Q-Tips due to the furry nature of their tiny flowers.

Cudweeds are NOT eaten. The only recorded ways they were used was as a tea or smoked. One of its common names is "Rabbit Tobacco". Both the tea and smoke were used to treat problems breathing, especially from colds and other lung issues. The tea also helps some with coughs. While it was mainly smoked for its medicinal effects, the flavor is mind and pleasant enough that it was also smoked for pleasure. The usual Native American technique for smoking was to hold the smoke in their mouths rather than drawing it into their lungs. Be aware that pulling out a baggie of dried leaves and lighting up in public may draw unwanted attention so be smart if you're going to smoke this.


Buy my book! Idiots Guide Foraging covers 70 of North America's tastiest and easy to find wild edibles shown with the same big pictures as here on the Foraging Texas website.

Privacy Statement

I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit this website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.