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Annual BiennialHerbaceous Perennial

Senecio jacobaea

common ragwort

An upright biennial or short-lived perennial capable of reaching 1.5m tall, though often much less, with deeply lobed, dark green leaves, often overwintering as a low rosette, and large, flat-topped clusters of yellow, daisy-like flowers from mid-summer to mid-autumn

Other common names
benweed
binweed
see moreboliaum
cankerweed
common ragweed
fairy's horse
fellon weed
felon weed
keddledock
kettledock
ragweed
ragwort
Saracen's compass
St James' weed
St James' wort
staggerwort
starwort
stinking Willy
tansy ragwort
yellow tops
fireweed [3]
Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Yellow Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Habit
Clump forming, Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
Poisonous to horses and cattle
Genus

Senecio can be annuals, biennials, perennials, climbers or shrubs, some succulent, with simple or pinnately divided leaves and daisy-like flowers, occasionally without ray-florets

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grows naturally in grassland and waste ground, on roadsides and sand dunes. A problem weed in pasture as it is poisonous to horses and cattle, but otherwise a good plant for wildlife. See Ragwort

Propagation

Spreads readily by seed, also by offsets and root fragments

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
Pruning

Cut down spent flowers to prevent self-seeding

Pests

May be susceptible to cinnabar moth caterpillars

Diseases

Generally disease free

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