This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
G. norvegicum Gunner, Fl. Norveg. 2: 105. 1772.
Perennial; stem simple, 6'-18' high. Leaves lanceolate to spatulate, elongated, acute, narrowed at the base, woolly on both sides, or green and glabrate above, 3'-6' long, 2"-5" wide, the lower and basal ones petioled; heads about 3" high, numerous in a more or less leafy spike, the lowest often distant, solitary or glomerate in the upper axils; bracts of the involucre ovate-oblong, dark brown, or brown-tipped, glabrous or slightly woolly, obtuse; pappus-bristles united at the base, falling away in a ring; achenes hispidulous.
Mt. Albert, Gaspe, Quebec, north to Greenland and Arctic America. Also in Europe. July-Aug.
Gnaphalium sylvaticum L. Sp. Pl. 856. 1753.
Perennial; stem slender, simple, 6-18' high. Leaves linear, acute, l'-2' long, 1"-2 1/2" wide, or the lowest linear-spatulate, woolly beneath, glabrous or glabrate above; heads about 3" high, numerous in a more or less leafy spike, or the lowest solitary or glomerate. in the upper axils; bracts of the involucre linear-oblong, obtuse, mostly glabrous, yellowish or greenish with a brown spot at or just below the apex; pappus-bristles united at the base; achenes hispidulous.
New Brunswick and Cape Breton Island to Quebec and northern Maine and New Hampshire. Widely distributed in Europe and northern Asia. June-Aug.
Gnaphalium purpureum L. Sp. Pl. 854. 1753.
Annual or biennial, simple and erect or branched from the base and the branches ascending, 2'-2° high. Leaves spatulate, or the uppermost linear, mostly obtuse, mucronulate, woolly beneath, usually green and glabrous or nearly so above when old, sessile, or the lowest narrowed into petioles, 1'-2' long, 2"-6" wide; heads 2"-2i" high in a terminal, sometimes leafy, often interrupted spike, or the lowest ones distant and axillary; bracts of the involucre yellowish brown or purplish, lanceolate-oblong, acute or acutish, the outer woolly at the base; pappus-bristles united below; achenes roughish.
In dry sandy soil, eastern Maine to Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Kansas and Texas. Bermuda; Jamaica; Mexico. Far western plants for-merely referred to this species prove to be distinct. May-Sept.