Common groundsel

July 31, 2015

Senecio vulgaris L.

Life cycle

Summer or winter annual capable of multiple generations per year.

common groundsel plant
Common groundsel plant.

Leaves

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.

common groundsel seedling
Common groundsel seedling.

Stems

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 flowerhead common groundsel puffball
Common groundsel flower head (left). Mature seedhead of common groundsel (right).

Reproduction

Seeds.

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Tags: integrated pest management

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