Common Groundsel: Senecio vulgaris
|Weed Description: A winter or summer
annual with lobed leaves, yellow leaves and a white 'puff-ball' seedhead like that of
dandelion. Common groundsel is primarily a weed of landscapes, nursery crops,
greenhouses, and occasionally agronomic crops. It is distributed primarily in the
northern United States.
Stems: Branched, without hairs, ranging from 4 to 20 inches in height. Stems are capable of rooting at the nodes.
|Leaves: Arranged alternately along
the stem, usually without hairs but occasionally with a few hairs. Leaves have
deeply lobed margins.
Roots: A taproot and a fibrous root system.
Flowers: Occur in clusters at the ends of stems. Individual flowers are approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and are yellow in color.
|Fruit: A red to brown achene
with soft white hairs that helps in wind dispersal. Fruit form a 'puff-ball' like
that of dandelion.
Identifying Characteristics: The deeply lobed leaves, yellow flowers, and 'puff-ball' seedhead are all characteristics that help in the identification of common groundsel.