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Common Groundsel

Senecio vulgaris

Plant Data

Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
(in flower all year round)
Flowers:
Loose clusters of cylindrical yellow flowerheads, usually without rays but occasionally having narrow yellow rays. Bracts are narrow and tipped black.
Fruit:
A dark brown, ridged, cylindrical achene, up to 2mm in length. There are hairs along its grooves.
Leaves:
Alternate leaves. The larger lower leaves are short-stalked and the upper ones are stalkless. Pinnate, shiny and covered with matted hairs. It's lobes are coarsely toothed.
Maximum Size:
40cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
Definitely not edible. Groundsel is very poisonous as it contains 'pyrrolizidine alkaloids'. Consumption can cause irreversible damage to the liver.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Birdseed, Chickenweed, Common Butterweed, Flower of Macarius, Grimsel, Ground Glutton, Groundsel Birdseed, Grundy Swallow, Old-man-in-the-Spring, Ragwort, Simson, Squaw Weed.
Habitats:
Farmland, gardens, roadsides, wasteland.