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Silver Ragwort

Senecio cineraria

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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, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, 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, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, roadsides, seaside, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
Yellow daisy-like flowers, up to 2cm. Stalks are woolly and white.
A cylindrical, ribbed fruit called an achene. The achene contains numerous seeds.
The leaves are oval to oblong in shape and divided or toothed. The leaves are silvery and are covered in a white down. This feature makes the plant easy to identify.
Other Names:
Dusty Miller.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Senecio cineraria, also known as dusty miller or silver ragwort, is a perennial subshrub or herbaceous perennial plant, native to the Mediterranean region. It is grown for its attractive, silvery-white, finely divided leaves which contrasts with other plants in a garden. It grows up to 60cm tall and wide. It blooms in the summer with yellow flowers. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and as a border plant, It is also used in fresh and dried floral arrangements.


Silver ragwort, also known as Senecio cineraria, is a stunning perennial plant that belongs to the family Asteraceae. This plant is highly valued for its beautiful silver-grey foliage, which is why it is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks around the world. In this blog, we'll explore the key features of Silver Ragwort, its cultivation and care requirements, and some interesting facts about this plant.

Features of Silver Ragwort

The Silver Ragwort plant is a small, bushy herb that grows up to a height of 60 cm. The plant has a woody stem and lance-shaped leaves, which are covered with silky white hairs that give them their distinctive silver-grey appearance. The plant blooms in mid-summer, producing small, bright yellow flowers that are arranged in clusters. The flowers are highly attractive to pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

Cultivation and care requirements

Silver Ragwort is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It thrives in full sun to partial shade, and prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant is drought-tolerant, but it should be watered regularly during dry spells to ensure that the soil stays moist.

Silver Ragwort is a low-maintenance plant that requires little attention once it has been established. However, it is important to prune the plant regularly to prevent it from becoming too leggy. To promote bushy growth, pinch back the tips of the stems after the plant has finished flowering.

Interesting facts about Silver Ragwort

  • Silver Ragwort is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows in rocky, well-drained soils.

  • The plant has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and rheumatism.

  • The plant's scientific name, Senecio cineraria, comes from the Latin word "senex," which means "old man." This is a reference to the plant's silvery foliage, which is said to resemble the hair of an old man.

  • Silver Ragwort is a popular plant for gardeners who want to create a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant garden. It is often used as a border plant or as a filler in rock gardens.

In conclusion, Silver Ragwort is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that is highly valued for its attractive silver-grey foliage. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a beginner, this plant is a great choice for adding interest and texture to your garden. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of Silver Ragwort for years to come.

More Information

While Silver Ragwort is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant, it's important to note that it can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. This is because the plant contains alkaloids that can cause gastrointestinal upset and other health problems if consumed. Therefore, it's important to keep the plant away from children and pets, and to always wash your hands after handling it.

One interesting fact about Silver Ragwort is that it is sometimes used in the cut flower industry. The plant's striking silver foliage is often incorporated into floral arrangements, where it adds texture and contrast to other flowers. However, it's worth noting that the plant can be quite short-lived when grown in a cut-flower setting, and is generally better suited to being grown as a garden plant.

Another interesting feature of Silver Ragwort is its ability to repel certain pests. The plant is thought to have insecticidal properties, and is sometimes used as a natural pesticide in organic farming and gardening. In particular, the plant is said to be effective at repelling snails and slugs, which can be a major pest problem in many gardens.

Finally, it's worth noting that there are many different cultivars of Silver Ragwort available, each with its own unique characteristics. For example, some cultivars have larger or smaller leaves, while others have different flower colors or growth habits. If you're interested in growing Silver Ragwort in your garden, it's worth doing some research to find the cultivar that's best suited to your needs and growing conditions.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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