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Chamois Ragwort

Senecio doronicum

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.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
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, 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, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, 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, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, riverbanks.

Yellow, many petals
Yellow, daisy-like flowers with 15 to 22 golden yellow ray florets.
The fruit of Chamois Ragwort is a seed (achene) with a pappus of hairs at one end.
A perennial garden escape species. The leaves are lance-shaped with short-toothed margins and pointed at the tips.
Other Names:
Kingcups, Large-flowered Groundsel, Leopard's Bane, Leopard's Bane Groundsel.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Senecio doronicum, also known as Leopard's Bane or Kingcups, is a perennial flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia and is known for its bright yellow flowers that bloom in the spring. The plant grows to a height of around 30-60 cm and prefers moist, well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade. It is often used as a decorative plant in gardens and is also used medicinally for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.


Chamois Ragwort, also known by its scientific name Senecio doronicum, is a beautiful and unique species of flowering plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is native to the European Alps, where it can be found growing at high altitudes of up to 3,000 meters above sea level.

The Chamois Ragwort is a perennial herb that grows up to 60 centimeters tall, with a woody base and branched stem that is covered in small hairs. The leaves are dark green in color, oblong-shaped, and slightly toothed along the edges. The flowers are yellow, with a diameter of approximately 2 centimeters, and are arranged in clusters at the top of the stem. The plant blooms from June to September.

One of the most distinctive features of Chamois Ragwort is its ability to adapt to extreme environmental conditions, such as harsh winds and cold temperatures. Its deep roots help it to access water and nutrients from the rocky soil, while its hairy leaves and stems protect it from dehydration and cold temperatures. In fact, the plant is well-adapted to surviving in alpine environments, where other species of plants struggle to survive.

Apart from its adaptability, Chamois Ragwort is also highly valued for its medicinal properties. The plant contains a range of chemical compounds, including flavonoids and essential oils, that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Traditionally, the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, such as respiratory infections, fever, and rheumatism.

Despite its many benefits, Chamois Ragwort is also considered an invasive species in some parts of the world, such as New Zealand and Australia. This is because the plant has the potential to spread quickly and outcompete native species in these areas. As such, it is important to carefully monitor the growth and spread of the plant in these regions.

Chamois Ragwort is a fascinating plant that is well-adapted to extreme environmental conditions and has a range of medicinal properties. While it is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world, it is a valuable and important plant in its native range, where it is able to thrive in some of the most challenging environments on Earth.

Chamois Ragwort is not only valued for its medicinal properties, but also for its ornamental value. Its bright yellow flowers make it a popular choice for gardens and rockeries in alpine regions, where it can be cultivated with relative ease. In addition, the plant is also a valuable source of food for wildlife, such as bees and butterflies, which are attracted to its nectar and pollen.

However, it should be noted that Chamois Ragwort is also toxic to livestock, especially to sheep and cattle. The plant contains a range of pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause liver damage and other health issues in these animals. As such, it is important to prevent livestock from grazing on or near areas where Chamois Ragwort is growing.

To manage the spread of Chamois Ragwort, it is recommended to control its growth by cutting or pulling the plant before it can set seed. In addition, preventing the spread of the plant through the transportation of soil or plant material can help to limit its range. In areas where the plant is considered an invasive species, it may also be necessary to use herbicides or other control measures to reduce its impact on the local ecosystem.

Chamois Ragwort is a fascinating plant with a range of ecological and medicinal benefits. While it may pose some risks in certain situations, it is an important part of the alpine ecosystem and has much to offer to those who appreciate its unique beauty and resilience.

In addition to its uses in traditional medicine, Chamois Ragwort has also been the subject of scientific research for its potential therapeutic applications. For example, recent studies have investigated the plant's anti-cancer properties and its ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. These findings suggest that Chamois Ragwort may have a role to play in the development of new treatments for a range of health conditions.

Furthermore, Chamois Ragwort has played an important cultural role in the Alpine region, where it has been used in folklore and traditional practices for centuries. In some cultures, the plant is associated with protection and good luck, and is said to have the power to ward off evil spirits and negative energy. It has also been used in traditional alpine crafts, such as weaving and embroidery, where its delicate flowers and leaves are used to create intricate patterns.

Overall, Chamois Ragwort is a fascinating plant with a range of ecological, medicinal, and cultural significance. While it may pose some risks in certain situations, it is an important part of the alpine ecosystem and has much to offer to those who appreciate its unique beauty and resilience. As we continue to learn more about this remarkable plant, it is likely that we will uncover new uses and applications for its many benefits.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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