Ragwort - Senecio (10)

The Senecio genus is a large group which grows in a variety of habitats and life zones, and hybridizes, thus making identification difficult. Ragworts, also commonly called Butterweeds and Groundsels, have yellow daisy-like flowers with only a few ray flowers, usually in clusters. Leaves are basal or alternate on the stem. In 1981 a number of the Senecio genus were moved to the Packera genus.  See also Alpine Ragworts, Common Groundsel, Dwarf Mountain Butterweed, Bashful Ragwort and Nodding Ragwort.

Senecio atratus

Tall Blacktop Ragwort
Senecio atratus

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Black-Tipped Senecio
Photo taken on: July 21, 2006
Location: Crested Butte Mountain, GV, CO
Life Zones: Subalpine to alpine
Habitat: Rocky places and roadsides

Grows up to 3ft tall in clumps with silvery-gray stems and leaves, and black-tipped bracts.

Senecio atratus

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio crassulus

Thick-leaf Ragwort
Senecio crassulus

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Thick-leaved Groundsel, Mountain Meadow Groundsel
Photo taken on: July 4, 2007
Location: Poverty Gulch, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to alpine
Habitat: Moist meadows, openings

Grows to 20" with thick, finely toothed leaves that clasp the stem. Flower heads have eight to thirteen ray flowers but are up to 2" across.

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio eremophilus

King's Ragwort
Senecio eremophilus var. kingii

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Western Golden Ragwort
Photo taken on: August 6, 2005
Location: Mill Creek Trail, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Meadows and disturbed areas

Grows to 3ft tall on purplish stems. Leaves are 4" long and deeply incised. Flower heads are small.

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio flaccidus

Threadleaf Ragwort
Senecio flaccidus (S. douglasii)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Threadleaf Groundsel
Photo taken on: May 19, 2009
Location: White Rock Canyon, NM
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Dry rocky, sandy areas, washes

Grows to 2ft wide and high with bluish-green stems and narrow, deeply divided leaves covered in fine white hairs. Flower heads have few ray flowers.

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio integerrimus

Lambstongue Ragwort
Senecio integerrimus

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Early Spring Senecio, Tall Western Groundsel
Photo taken on: June 24, 2009
Location: Brush Creek, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Moist meadows and slopes

Grows very upright to 30", with a stout, hollow, cobwebby stem and mostly basal upright leaves. Leaves covered in hairs when young but become smooth with age.

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio serra

Tall Ragwort
Senecio serra

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Sawleaf Senecio
Photo taken on: July 30, 2005
Location: Green Lake Trail, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to subalpine
Habitat: Moist woods and openings

Grows to 4ft tall with long, narrow and finely serrated leaves compared to Arrowleaf Ragwort below.

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio spartioides

Broom-like Ragwort
Senecio spartioides

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Broom Senecio
Photo taken on: August 19, 2008
Location: CO SR 114
Life Zones: Plains to montane
Habitat: Disturbed soil, roadsides, sandy, gravelly areas

Grows 2-3ft with woody, erect, leafy stems. Leaves are narrow. Numerous 1½" flowers with few petals grow in flat-topped clusters.

Senecio spartioides

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio spartioides var. multicapitatus

Broom-like Ragwort
Senecio spartioides var. multicapitatus (S. multicapitatus)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Broom Senecio
Photo taken on: September 1, 2008
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Disturbed soil, roadsides

Very similar to the species above but the leaves are divided into narrow segments.

The USDA recognizes this as a separate species but Flora of North America does not.

Senecio triangularis

Arrowleaf Ragwort
Senecio triangularis

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Arrowleaf Senecio, Triangle-leaved Ragwort
Photo taken on: July 20, 2005
Location: Lake Irwin, GV, CO
Life Zones: Subalpine
Habitat: Wet areas

Grows to 4ft tall. Leaves are long, triangular and toothed.

Flora of North America reference.

Senecio wootonii

Wooton's Ragwort
Senecio wootonii

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: July 31, 2005
Location: Poverty Gulch, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane
Habitat: Dry rocky slopes

Grows to 20" with large, smooth, long-stalked, basal leaves and a few small stem leaves. Edges of leaves may be smooth or have small teeth.

Flora of North America reference.

Yellow Round Clusters