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York Groundsel

Senecio eboracensis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
(in flower all year round)
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Rocky places, seaside, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
The flowers are yellow and daisy-like. There are fewer and shorter bracts than those of the similar looking Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris).
The fruit is a seed with a plume. The seed is known as an achene and the plume is the pappus.
Oval, pinnate leaves, up to 8cm long and 3cm wide. Leaves have between 3 and 8 pairs of lobes and the uppermost leaves are the deeper lobed ones. All leaves are stalked. York Groundsel is a hybrid of Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) and Oxford Ragwort (Senecio squalidus). Deciduous. There are more lobes on the leaves than those of Common Groundsel. Can be found on waste ground near York railway station.
Other Names:
York Radiate Groundsel, Yorkwort.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Senecio eboracensis, also known as York groundsel, is a perennial herb that is native to England, specifically the county of Yorkshire. It is related to the common groundsel and shares similar features, such as yellow flowers and lanceolate leaves. It is a bit taller than Senecio cambrensis, reaching up to 60 cm in height. It thrives in rocky or sandy soils, often in coastal regions or on rocky slopes. Similar to Senecio cambrensis, it is also known for colonizing waste ground and quarries, and is considered as a weed in some places.


York Groundsel, also known as Senecio eboracensis, is a rare and endangered species of flowering plant that is native to the United Kingdom. This plant is part of the Senecio genus, which includes over 1,000 species of flowering plants, and is distinguished by its bright yellow flowers that bloom in late summer and early autumn.

The York Groundsel is found in only a few locations in the United Kingdom, primarily in the city of York and its surrounding areas. The plant grows on disturbed ground, such as waste ground, railway sidings, and road verges. It is also commonly found growing on the walls of old buildings and in graveyards.

Despite its limited range, the York Groundsel is an important species in the ecosystem of the United Kingdom. It provides food for a variety of insects, including butterflies and moths, and is an important nectar source for bees and other pollinators. Additionally, the plant is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as coughs and colds.

Unfortunately, the York Groundsel is currently facing numerous threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation, competition from invasive species, and climate change. The plant is listed as a Schedule 8 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, which means it is illegal to intentionally uproot or destroy the plant without a special license.

Conservation efforts are underway to protect the York Groundsel and its habitat. These efforts include the creation of protected areas, such as nature reserves and wildlife corridors, as well as the removal of invasive plant species that compete with the York Groundsel for resources. Additionally, scientists are studying the plant to better understand its ecological requirements and to develop strategies for its conservation and restoration.

York Groundsel is a rare and endangered species of flowering plant that is an important component of the United Kingdom's ecosystem. Despite the threats it faces, there are ongoing efforts to protect and conserve this plant, and it is hoped that with continued conservation efforts, future generations will be able to enjoy the beauty and ecological benefits of the York Groundsel.

One of the unique characteristics of the York Groundsel is its ability to tolerate heavy metal pollution in soil. This makes it an important species for phytoremediation, the use of plants to remove pollutants from soil and water. Scientists are exploring the potential of the York Groundsel for phytoremediation and its potential use in remediation of contaminated land.

The York Groundsel is also an interesting species from a genetic perspective. It is a polyploid species, meaning that it has more than two sets of chromosomes. This makes it a useful model organism for studying the genetic basis of polyploidy and its implications for evolution and adaptation.

In addition to its ecological and genetic importance, the York Groundsel also has cultural significance. The plant is named after the city of York, where it was first discovered in 1948. The plant's bright yellow flowers have inspired artists and poets, and it has become a symbol of the city's natural heritage.

York Groundsel is an important and fascinating species that plays a vital role in the United Kingdom's ecosystem. It is a reminder of the importance of preserving biodiversity and the need for continued conservation efforts to protect endangered species.

The York Groundsel has also been the subject of research into its medicinal properties. The plant contains a range of compounds, including flavonoids and alkaloids, that have potential therapeutic properties. For example, extracts of the plant have been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, which could be useful in the development of new medicines.

Despite its potential as a source of new medicines, the York Groundsel remains a relatively understudied plant. More research is needed to fully understand its chemical composition and potential therapeutic applications.

Another interesting aspect of the York Groundsel is its role in folklore and mythology. In some cultures, the plant is associated with death and is said to have been used by witches to poison their enemies. However, in other cultures, the plant is believed to have protective properties and is used in rituals to ward off evil spirits.

In conclusion, the York Groundsel is a fascinating and important species that has captured the attention of scientists, artists, and folklore enthusiasts alike. Its ecological, genetic, medicinal, and cultural significance make it a valuable part of the United Kingdom's natural heritage. However, the plant is also facing significant threats, and continued conservation efforts are essential to ensure its survival for future generations.