Senecio

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SENECIO - RAGWORT, GROUNDSEL, BUTTERWEED

Family: << | Aster? | >>

"Annual to shrub, from taproot, rhizome, or button-like caudex. Stem: 1–many, simple or branched. Leaf: alternate; mostly basal to evenly distributed; proximal generally ± petioled; middle generally reduced, sessile, often clasping. Inflorescence: heads radiate, disciform, or discoid, generally in cyme-like clusters; involucre cylindric to urn- or bell-shaped, main phyllaries generally 8, 13, or 21 in 1 series, subtended by few to many, generally much-reduced outer phyllaries, reflexed in fruit, green, often black-tipped, linear to narrowly lanceolate, glabrous or hairy; receptacle epaleate. Ray flower: 0–21; ray generally yellow (white, pink-purple), occasionally much-reduced and scarcely exceeding phyllaries. Disk flower: 3–100+; corolla tubular to bell-shaped, lobes erect to recurved, pale to deep yellow; anther tip ± triangular-ovate; style branch tips obtuse or truncate. Fruit: cylindric, generally shallow-ribbed or -angled, glabrous or stiff-hairy; pappus of minutely barbed bristles, white to tan.
1000+ species: worldwide, especially abundant in warm temperate, subtropical and tropical areas at mid to upper elevations. (Latin: old man, from white pappus) [Barkley 2006 FNANM 20:544–570] Many North American species formerly treated as Senecio now in Packera. The common names groundsel, ragwort, and butterweed apply to species of both genera. Neither Pericallis hybrida B. Nord. [Senecio hybridus Regel, illeg.] nor Senecio squalidus L. <Noxious weed> naturalized in California; Senecio hieraciifolius L. var. hieraciifolius [Erechtites hieraciifolia (L.) DC. var. hieraciifolia (orth. var.)] not documented in California." [Jepson]


Local Species;

  1. Senecio jacobaea - tansy ragwort [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  2. Senecio pseudoarnica - beach groundsel [E-flora][PCBC] (Haida Gwaii)
  3. Senecio sylvaticus - wood groundsel [E-flora][PCBC]
  4. Senecio triangularis - arrow-leaved groundsel [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  5. Senecio viscosus - sticky ragwort [E-flora][PCBC]
  6. Senecio vulgaris - common groundsel [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]

[IFBC-E-flora]1

Senecio jacobaea - Tansy ragwort

  • General: "Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from a poorly-developed to evident taproot; stems erect, solitary or several, branched above, sparsely to densely white woolly-hairy, 0.2-1 m tall." [IFBC-E-flora]1
  • Leaves: "Basal leaves oblanceolate, stalked, 4-20 cm long including the stalk, 2-6 cm wide, mostly 2-3 times pinnately cut, thinly woolly-hairy when young but usually glabrous by flowering time; stem leaves similar, progressively reduced upwards, becoming unstalked." [IFBC-E-flora]1
  • Flowers: "Heads with ray and disk flowers, several to numerous in clusters; involucres 2-5 mm tall; involucral bracts oblanceolate, with long-pointed, usually black tips, hairless to sparsely woolly-hairy, margins translucent; bracteoles few, black-tipped; ray flowers yellow, 4-10 mm long; disk flowers yellow." [IFBC-E-flora]1
  • Fruits: "Achenes oblong, nerved, those of the disk flowers minutely coarse-hairy, those of the ray flowers glabrous; pappus of white hairlike bristles." [IFBC-E-flora]1

[E-flora]1

  • Habitat / Range: "Mesic to dry fields, clearcuts and pastures in the lowland zone; locally frequent on S Vancouver Island and adjacent lower mainland; introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]1
  • Status: Exotic [E-flora]1

Senecio jacobaea/

Senecio jacobaea/

Senecio jacobaea/

Introduction

"Tansy ragwort is an invasive introduced species from Europe that is now found in eastern and western North America, but is absent from the prairies and midwestern states...Biological control methods have been applied to it, including the introduction of the cinnabar moth (tiger moth) (Tyria jacobaeae) to North America, a species which feeds exclusively on tansy ragwort. In our region, tansy ragwort can be confused with common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), however, tansy ragwort has yellow ray petals, while common tansy lacks ray petals." [E-flora]1

Additional Notes

"Tansy ragwort is considered an emerging invasive species in the Vancouver region by the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council (2009). ...It is listed as one of the top fourteen species of concern by the Coastal Invasive Plant Council." [E-flora]1


[IFBC-E-flora]2

Senecio pseudoarnica - Beach groundsel (seaside ragwort)

  • General: "Perennial herb from an erect to ascending rhizome; stems erect or ascending, solitary, simple or branched, glabrous below, woolly-hairy above, 5-90 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]2
  • Leaves: "Basal leaves usually smaller than the stem leaves, deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves thick, spoon-shaped to oblanceolate, egg-shaped or oblong, broadly stalked to unstalked, 2-25 cm long, 1-10 cm wide, toothed, sparsely to moderately woolly-hairy above and below or nearly glabrous above, not much reduced upwards except in the inflorescence." [IFBC-E-flora]2
  • Flowers: "Heads with ray and disk flowers, up to 4.5 cm across, solitary to several on glabrous to woolly-hairy stalks in a compact inflorescence; involucres 10-25 mm tall; involucral bracts lance-oblong to more linear, green or purplish, margins translucent, sparsely to moderately woolly-hairy; bracteoles numerous, equal to or longer than the involucral bracts; ray flowers yellow, mostly 10-25 mm long; disk flowers yellow." [IFBC-E-flora]2
  • Fruits: "Achenes oblong, faintly nerved, glabrous; pappus of white hairlike bristles." [IFBC-E-flora]2

[E-flora]2

  • Status: Native. [E-flora]2
  • Habitat / Range: "Moist to mesic sand dunes, beaches and tidal flats in the lowland zone; rare on the N Queen Charlotte Islands; amphiberingian, N to AK, disjunct on the coasts of Labr., NF, PQ, NS and NB, NE Asia." [IFBC-E-flora]2

[IFBC-E-flora]3

Senecio sylvaticus - Wood groundsel

  • General: "Annual herb from a more or less evident taproot; stems erect, solitary, branched, 15-80 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]3
  • Leaves: "Basal leaves smaller than the stem leaves, usually deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate, 2-12 cm long, 0.4-4 cm wide, more or less pinnately cut, irregularly toothed, stalked near the base, becoming unstalked upwards, sparsely to densely long-hairy or sometimes nearly glabrous." [IFBC-E-flora]3
  • Flowers: "Heads with ray and disk flowers, several to numerous heads on sparsely to densely long-hairy stalks in an open inflorescence; involucres 5-7 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, black-tipped, sparsely long-hairy and sometimes glandular-hairy at the tips; bracteoles minute, inconspicuous or lacking; ray flowers yellow, inconspicuous, mostly 1-2 mm long; disk flowers yellow." [IFBC-E-flora]3
  • Fruits: "Achenes oblong, faintly ribbed, white stiff-hairy; pappus of white hairlike bristles." [IFBC-E-flora]3
  • Ecological Indicator Information: "Shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, European forb introduced to Pacific and At1antic North America. Occurs in maritime to submaritime climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Scattered to plentiful, occasionally dominant, in non-forested communities on cutover, fire-disturbed, or continuously disturbed sites, where it inhabits exposed mineral soils. Often associated with Anaphalis margaritacea, Hieraciumalbiflorum, Hypochaeris radicata, Holcus lanatus, and Mycelis muralis. A nitrophytic species characteristic of early-seral communities." [IFBC-E-flora]3

[E-flora]3

  • Status Exotic [E-flora]3
  • Habitat / Range "Mesic to dry roadsides, clearcuts and disturbed areas in the lowland zone; frequent in coastal and SW BC; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]3

[IFBC-E-flora]5

Senecio triangularis - Arrow-leaved groundsel

  • Synonyms/Alternate Names
    • Senecio gibbsonsii Greene [E-flora]5
    • Senecio triangularis var. angustifolius G.N. Jones [E-flora]5
  • General: "Perennial herb from a fibrous-rooted, woody stem-base or rhizome; stems erect, solitary or few, branched above, glabrous to sparsely short-hairy above, 0.2-1.5 m tall." [IFBC-E-flora]5
  • Leaves: "Basal leaves triangular to heart-shaped, squared-off at the base; strongly toothed, stalked, 2.5-10 cm long including the stalks, 0.4-4.5 cm wide, hairless except for short hairs on the veins beneath, sometimes deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves similar, larger, 2.5-25 cm long, 0.4-8.5 cm wide, gradually reduced upwards, becoming unstalked." [IFBC-E-flora]5
  • Flowers: "Heads with ray and disk flowers, few to more often numerous on sparsely hairy stalks in a short, flat-topped inflorescence; involucres 7-12 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, conspicuously black-tipped, sometimes also sparsely hairy or rarely with inconspicuous unstalked glands at the tips; bracteoles conspicuous, black-tipped, hairy; ray fowers yellow, mostly 7-14 mm long; disk flowers yellow." [IFBC-E-flora]5
  • Fruits: "Achenes oblong, faintly ribbed, glabrous; pappus of white hairlike bristles." [IFBC-E-flora]5
  • Ecological Indicator Information: "A shade-tolerant to very shade-intolerant, montane to alpine, Western North American forb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils within alpine tundra, boreal. cool temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with precipitation. Scattered to plentiful in meadow­like communities and the herbaceous understory of open-canopy forests on water-receiving and water-collecting sites. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms." [E-flora]5

[E-flora]5

  • Status: Exotic [E-flora]5
  • Habitat/Range: "Moist to mesic meadows, streambanks, avalanche tracks and forest openings from the lowland to lower alpine zones; common throughout BC; N to S AK, S YT and SW NT, E to SK and S to NM and CA." [IFBC-E-flora]5

[IFBC-E-flora]6

Senecio viscosus - Sticky ragwort

  • General: "Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, solitary, usually branched, sticky-glandular, 10-60 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]6
  • Leaves: "Basal leaves smaller than the stem leaves, usually deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate, stalked to unstalked, 2.5-10 cm long, 1-6 cm wide, deeply pinnately lobed, the segments again toothed or lobed, sticky-glandular, not much reduced upwards." [IFBC-E-flora]6
  • Flowers: "Heads with ray and disk flowers, few to numerous on sticky-glandular stalks in an open inflorescence; involucres 7-10 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, sticky-glandular, green, margins papery, faintly black-tipped; bracteoles few, inconspicous; ray flowers yellow, mostly 1-4 mm long; disk flowers yellow." [IFBC-E-flora]6
  • Fruits: "Achenes oblong, faintly ribbed, glabrous; pappus of white hairlike bristles." [IFBC-E-flora]6

[E-flora]6

  • Status: Exotic [E-flora]6
  • Habitat / Range: "Dry to mesic roadsides, waste places and disturbed areas; infrequent in coastal, SW and SC BC, locally common in WC BC; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]6

[IFBC-E-flora]4

Senecio vulgaris - Common groundsel

  • General: "Annual or biennial herb with a more or less evident taproot; stems erect, solitary, branched, glabrous to sparingly long-hairy, 10-55 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]4
  • Leaves: "Basal leaves oblanceolate to elliptic, stalked, 0.8-3 cm long, 0.3-1 cm wide, coarsely toothed or lobed, nearly glabrous to long-hairy, soon deciduous; stem leaves larger, 2-10 cm long, 0.5-4.5 cm wide, oblanceolate, coarsely toothed to more often pinnately cut, nearly glabrous to long-hairy, not greatly reduced upwards, with ear-like lobes, these clasping at the bases." [IFBC-E-flora]4
  • Flowers: "Heads discoid, several to numerous on glabrous to long-hairy stalks in an open inflorescence; involucres 5-8 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, green, black-tipped, glabrous, margins translucent, hairy at the tips; bracteoles numerous, conspicuous, black-tipped; discoid; disk flowers yellow." [IFBC-E-flora]4
  • Fruits: "Achenes oblong, faintly ribbed, bristly-hairy; pappus of white hairlike bristles."
  • Ecological Indicator Information: "Shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, European forb introduced trans­continentally. Occurs in maritime to submaritime climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Scattered to plentiful, occasionally dominant, in non-forested communities on cutover, fire-disturbed, or continuously disturbed sites, where it inhabits exposed mineral soils. Often associated with Anaphalis margaritacea, Hieraciumalbiflorum, Hypochaeris radicata, Holcus lanatus, and Mycelis muralis. A nitrophytic species characteristic of early-seral communities." [IFBC-E-flora]4
  • Status: Exotic [E-flora]4
  • Habitat/Range: "Mesic to dry roadsides, disturbed areas and gardens; common in WC and SW BC, rare elsewhere in S BC; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]4

Senecio vulgaris

Senecio vulgaris

Senecio vulgaris

Hazards

"Most ragworts should be considered potentially poisonous..." [CPPM]


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

S. vulgaris; Groundsel has a long history of herbal use and, although not an official plant, it is still often used by herbalists.[4][PFAF]


Phytochemicals


Actions


Medicinal Usage


Cultivation

Propagation


Other Senecio Sp.

"There are 2,000 to 3,000 species of Senecio, many of which contain a toxic concentration of pyrrolizidine alkaloids." [HPIP Shih] "Rubiolo et al. [81] evaluated the mutagenicity of a series of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and extracts of several Italian Senecio species containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids including Senecio inaeguidens, S. fuchii, and S. cacaliastes." [ModPhyt] "All 1500 species of the mega-genus are believed to contain them, including the common ragwort (S. jacobeae) (Harborne and Baxter 1993)." [Pengelly TCMP]

A brief look at a few random species of the genera Senecio;


References


Caution
The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 29-01-2017