Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Senecio sylvaticus
wood groundsel, woodland groundsel, woodland ragwort

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, also in eastern North America.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, forest edge, wastelots, and other disturbed areas at low elevation.

Flowers: May-September

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, butterflies, flies, beetles


Sparsely pubescent, tap-rooted annual, usually with a simple stem 1.5-8 dm. tall


Leafy throughout, the leaves more or less pinnatifid and irregularly toothed, 2-12 cm. long and 4-40 mm. wide, narrowly lanceolate in outline.

Identification Notes:

Separate from the only other annual Senecio in our area by the number of involucre bracts (S. vulgaris has about 21, S. sylvaticus,13), the bracteoles (only S. vulgaris are black-tipped) and the aroma (only S. sylvaticus is malodorous).

Accepted Name:
Senecio sylvaticus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 868. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Senecio sylvaticus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Senecio sylvaticus checklist entry

OregonFlora: Senecio sylvaticus information

E-Flora BC: Senecio sylvaticus atlas page

CalPhotos: Senecio sylvaticus photos

26 photographs:
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