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Shrub Ragwort

Brachyglottis greyi

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, 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, 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
Evergreen shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
5 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, parks, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
Large yellow daisy-like flowers in abundance, usually with 13 petals.
A dry, brown achene (type of single-seeded fruit that does not open to release the seed).
Unlike other Ragwort species, the Shrub Ragwort has undivided leaves. They are greyish-green and felted with a grey or silver down on the undersides. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. Their shape is ovate to oblong and they are untoothed. They have a furry texture and their margins are outlined white.
Other Names:
Daisy Bush, Grey's Rata, Shrubby Ragwort.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Brachyglottis greyi, also known as Grey's Rātā, is a shrub native to New Zealand. It is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 5 m tall, with large, glossy green leaves and clusters of yellow, daisy-like flowers that bloom in the summer. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It is often used as an ornamental plant and also good for hedge, it is frost tolerant and drought resistant.


Shrub Ragwort, scientifically known as Brachyglottis greyi, is a plant species that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a flowering shrub that is native to New Zealand, specifically the North Island, and is commonly found in coastal areas, rocky slopes, and in scrubland.

Appearance and Characteristics

Shrub Ragwort is a small shrub that typically grows up to 1.5 meters in height. It has a woody stem, which is covered in a thick layer of soft, greyish-brown hairs. The leaves are also covered in a thick layer of woolly hairs, giving them a silvery-grey appearance. The leaves are oblong or ovate in shape, with toothed margins, and can reach up to 10 centimeters in length.

The plant produces small, yellow flowers that are arranged in clusters at the end of the branches. The flowers have a diameter of approximately 1 cm and consist of both ray and disk florets. The fruit is an achene, which is a dry, one-seeded fruit that does not open at maturity.

Ecological Significance

Shrub Ragwort plays an important ecological role in New Zealand. It is a host plant for several species of moths and butterflies, including the Magpie Moth (Nyctemera annulata), which feeds on the leaves of the plant. The flowers of Shrub Ragwort are also an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

In addition, Shrub Ragwort has significant cultural significance for the Maori people of New Zealand. The plant was traditionally used in Maori medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including cuts and wounds, and was also used as a poultice for rheumatism and arthritis.

Conservation Status

Shrub Ragwort is classified as "At Risk - Naturally Uncommon" under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. This classification indicates that the species is not currently threatened with extinction, but its populations are naturally rare, and its habitat is vulnerable to human disturbance.

Human activities, such as land clearance and urbanization, pose a significant threat to the habitat of Shrub Ragwort. In addition, the plant is also susceptible to browsing by introduced herbivores, such as rabbits and possums.

Conservation efforts are currently underway to protect the habitat of Shrub Ragwort and other threatened plant species in New Zealand. These efforts include the establishment of protected areas, the control of introduced herbivores, and the restoration of degraded habitats.

Shrub Ragwort is an important plant species in New Zealand, both ecologically and culturally. While it is not currently threatened with extinction, it is important that efforts are made to protect its habitat and ensure its continued survival.


Aside from its ecological and cultural significance, Shrub Ragwort has several practical uses. The plant is used in horticulture as an ornamental shrub, valued for its attractive silver-grey foliage and yellow flowers. It is also used in erosion control and land restoration projects, as it can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion in areas where vegetation has been removed.

In traditional Maori medicine, Shrub Ragwort was used to treat a range of ailments, including coughs, colds, and respiratory infections. The plant was also used as a poultice for cuts, wounds, and skin conditions.

In more recent times, research has been conducted on the potential health benefits of Shrub Ragwort. The plant contains several bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, tannins, and terpenes, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There is also some evidence to suggest that the plant may have potential as a natural treatment for certain types of cancer.

Cultivation and Care

Shrub Ragwort is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to grow and care for. It prefers well-drained soils and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils. The plant can be propagated from seeds or cuttings and is best planted in full sun or partial shade.

Once established, Shrub Ragwort requires little maintenance, although it may benefit from occasional pruning to maintain its shape and promote new growth. The plant is relatively drought-tolerant, although it will benefit from regular watering during periods of extended dryness.


In conclusion, Shrub Ragwort is a plant species with significant ecological, cultural, and practical importance in New Zealand. While its populations are currently stable, it is important that efforts are made to protect the species and its habitat, and to ensure that its traditional uses and potential health benefits are not lost to future generations. Through careful management and conservation efforts, we can help ensure that Shrub Ragwort continues to thrive and provide value to both people and the natural environment.

More Information

One interesting aspect of Shrub Ragwort is its taxonomic history. The species was first described in 1838 by the English botanist George Bentham, who placed it in the genus Senecio. It was later transferred to the genus Brachyglottis in the 1990s, along with several other New Zealand species that were previously classified in Senecio.

The transfer to Brachyglottis was based on morphological and molecular evidence, which indicated that the New Zealand species were not closely related to other members of the genus Senecio. The move to Brachyglottis was initially controversial, as the genus had previously been restricted to a small number of South American species. However, subsequent research has confirmed the close relationship between the New Zealand species and Brachyglottis, and the transfer has now been widely accepted.

Another interesting aspect of Shrub Ragwort is its potential for use in horticulture. The plant's attractive silver-grey foliage and yellow flowers make it a popular choice for gardeners looking for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrubs. In addition, the plant's hardiness and ability to thrive in a wide range of soils and climates make it a good choice for landscaping projects.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in using native plant species in horticulture and landscaping, as a way of promoting biodiversity and reducing the environmental impact of gardening and landscaping practices. Shrub Ragwort is just one of many New Zealand native plant species that have the potential to be used in this way, and it is exciting to see the growing interest in these species and their unique properties.

In conclusion, Shrub Ragwort is a fascinating and valuable plant species, with important ecological, cultural, and practical significance. As we continue to learn more about this and other native plant species, we can gain a deeper understanding of the unique flora and fauna of New Zealand, and work to protect and promote these species for future generations.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map