Compositae: an annual growing to 0.6m (2ft). Found in Arable land, waste places, and pavements in towns and cities, often in partial shade. It is a branched herb with opposite stalked leaves, toothed at the margins. The flowers are in small heads. The 3–8 white ray-florets are about 1mm (0.4”) long and 3-lobed. The central disc florets are yellow and tubular. Flowering from May to October. Native to South America, however it is widely naturalised in other countries. Galinsoga parviflora was said to be brought from Peru to Kew Gardens in 1796, and later escaped to the wild in Great Britain and Ireland, being temporarily known as the 'Kew Weed'.
In Colombia it is used as a spice herb in the soup Ajiaco. It can also be used as an ingredient in leaf salads, although its subtle flavour, reminiscent of artichoke, mostly develops after being cooked. In eastern Africa, the plant is collected from the wild, and its leaves, stem and flowers eaten. It is also dried and ground into powder for use in soups.
When rubbed onto the body, the plant is useful in treating nettle stings. The juice of the plant is applied to treat wounds, it helps to coagulate the blood of fresh cuts and wounds.
Rapidly germinating, keep seed in constant moisture (not wet) with temperatures of about +20°C [68°F]. Seeds must be covered thinly. Do not cover small seeds, but tightly press into the earth. Keep in cooler conditions after germination occurs. Extremely easy to grow.