Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Golden Ragwort (Senecio aureus)
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: April-June.
- Field Marks: This species has large, dark green, undivided basal leaves that are heart-shaped at the base.
- Habitat: Along streams, moist woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb with branched, creeping rhizomes and slender stolons.
- Stems: Erect, usually branched above, white-woolly when young, becoming smooth, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Of 2 kinds: the basal ones ovate, pointed at the tip, heart-shaped at the base, toothed, white-woolly when young, up to 3 inches long, up to 2 inches broad, with long stalks; the leaves on the stem narrower, pinnately divided or the uppermost undivided, without stalks.
- Flowers: Many crowded in heads; each head surrounded by many very narrow, smooth bracts, the bracts green and often purple-tipped; the heads composed of both yellow ray and tubular flowers.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Yellow, some united to form flat rays up to 1/2 inch long, others united to form tubular flowers.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, smooth.
- Fruits: Achenes smooth, up to 1/6 inch long.
- Notes: This species produces substances which may be poisonous to wildlife.
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