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P&PDL Picture of the Week


By Glenn Nice, Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University

This plant is a common site at the moment in Indiana. Known to Hoosiers as Golden Ragwort and sometimes confused for a mustard, it is actually a member of the asteraceae (compositae) the daisy family. Its common name has often caused confusion, including for myself. What we call Golden Ragwort here in Indiana is referred to as Butterweed by taxonomists or Cress-leaved groundsel by the Weed Science Society of America and is Senecio glabellus. The common name Golden Ragwort is referred to Senecio aureus, which also occurs in Indiana, but is a perennial with crude heart shaped basal leaves on long slender petioles. Senecio spp. can produce pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause chronic poisoning in cattle and horses if allowed to feed on Senecio spp. However, the species that we have here in Indiana are less toxic than Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobeae), not as common in Indiana.

Click on the small image to view a larger image.

Photos by Peggy Sellers

Senecio in Field Senecio Plant
Senecio in Field Senecio Plant
Senecio Flowers Senecio Leaves
Senecio Flowers Senecio Leaves

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Last updated: 23 May 2002/tlm.
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.