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Senecio vulgaris L.
Common Groundsel

Sp.Pl. 2:867 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Erect, rather succulent annual, herb, 0.05-0.4(-0.75) m high. Fl. yellow, Jul to Dec or Jan to Feb. Sandy soils. Cultivated or disturbed grounds.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 18 June 1997


IBRA Regions
Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Armadale, Cambridge, Cockburn, Dardanup, Fremantle, Gosnells, Joondalup, Manjimup, Melville, Mundaring, Nedlands, Perth, Rockingham, South Perth, Stirling, Swan, Wanneroo.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Common Groundsel.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, birds, clothing, fur, contaminated grain and cereal. Toxicity. All parts of the plant are poisonous to mammals, including humans. Seedbank persistence. 5 years.

Notes. Naturalised throughout the world and generally only persists in disturbed sites. Seeds are highly viable and can germinate throughout the year. Germination occurs under alternating light and dark conditions. Most seeds can germinate immediately and seedlings can emerge within a few days of seed shed. Seed produced in spring is generally more dormant than seed produced in summer or autumn. Seeds buried for 6 months in soil under natural conditions germinate readily on exposure to light. Can complete its life-cycle in 5-6 weeks but this may take longer on nutrient-rich soils. Resistant to some Group 5, 6 and 7 herbicides (including triazines, uracils and nitriles). A rust pathogen is currently being evaluated as a biocontrol agent in Europe.

Additional information. Origin. Northern Africa, temperate Asia.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand remove small/isolated populations. Apply Lontrel® at 10 ml/10 L + wetting agent before stem elongation in late spring. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Germination O O O O Y Y O O Y Y O O  
Active Growth         O Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Flowering Y Y         Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y           Y Y Y Y  
Manual Removal O O O O O Y Y Y Y O O O  
Herbicide Treatment                 Y Y O    

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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