Common groundsel – Senecio vulgaris

Common groundsel

Senecio vulgaris L.
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Life cycle

Summer or winter annual capable
of multiple generations per year.


Alternate, sparsely hairy to smooth with variable leaf shape. Young leaf
margins may be smooth to slightly wavy; older leaves have deep, irregular lobes and
coarsely toothed margins. Lower leaves have short stalks; upper leaves are stalkless.


Smooth, erect and multiple-branched. Usually no taller than 12 inches.

Flowers and fruit

Numerous yellow, cylinder- to cone-shaped flower heads are produced in clusters at the stem ends. The seed is enclosed in a single-seeded, wind-disseminated fruit that forms in a white, approximately 0.5-inch-wide puffball collection.



Common groundsel plant
Common groundsel flower head
Common groundsel mature seedhead
Common groundsel seedhead
Common groundsel seedling

For more information visit:

Plant & Pest Diagnostics

Other Documents in this Series

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at

Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close