Senecio vulgaris

Common Names: Groundsel, old-man-in-the-Spring
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Aster family

Standing only between 4 and 16 inches tall, bright florets mostly hidden by the characteristic bract giving it the appearance of never opening flowers and with a life span of 5 to 6 weeks. Leaves grow directly from the stem, sessile or lacking their own stem (petiole), alternating in direction along the length of the plant, two rounded lobes at the base of the stem (auriculate) and sub-clasping above. Leaves are pinnately lobed and 2.4 inches long and 1 inch wide and get smaller as up the plant. Leaves are covered sparsely with soft, smooth, fine hairs. Lobes typically sharp to rounded saw-toothed. The hollow succulent stems branch at the tops and from the base. Open clusters of 8 to 10 small cylinder shaped rayless yellow flower heads 1/4 to 1/2 inch with a highly conspicuous ring of black tipped bracts at the base of the inflorescence as is characteristic of many members of the genus Senecio.

Grows willingly in disturbed sites, waste places, roadsides, gardens, nurseries, orchards, vineyards, landscaped areas, agricultural lands, at altitudes up to 1,600 feet.

Primary Flower Color: Yellow
Secondary Flower Color: Yellow
Edible Notes: Not edible.
Warnings: Although it has a history of medicinal use, it is generally regarded as toxic.