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Senecio vulgaris

Groundsel has become a serious problem in the nursery areas, especially in containers. A member of the composite family (but has no ray flowers) it forms a dandelion type seed head and the seeds are carried on the wind for some distance. It is an annual but can germinate and set seed all through the year. Another species, golden ragwort (S. aureus) is present throughout the state but is not a weed problem. It has heart-shaped basal leaves and has yellow ray flowers and strongly purple tipped bracts.

Photo of Groundsel

Photo by Dr. John Meade, weed scientist emeritus
Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension