Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Senecio
Ch’ilbilátahaltsoi
(a.k.a. Ragwort, groundsel)

Flower cluster of Senecio integerrimus var. exaltatus

Senecio plants have simple or branched upright growth with leaves alternate on the stem. Flowers are yellow and appear from April to October.

Plants in the genus Senecio produce pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which cause liver damage in livestock and humans when these compounds are ingested. Senecio is poisonous to cattle and horses and toxic to humans, such as when plant parts are harvested, either intentionally or unintentionally, for use in herbal teas.

Some Senecio species (e.g., S. vulgaris) reduce crop yield. Others affect pasture productivity, are poisonous to livestock, or affect native plant communities.

Senecio wootonii flower with small yellow rays and a darker yellow disk
Growth habit of a young Senecio wootonii with basal leaves and a an upright stem containing several flowers at the top
Widely spaced yellow rays and darker yellow disk flowers, which are quite distinct in this Senecio warnockii specimen
Brushy growth habit of Senecio warnockii with leaning stems
Close-up of the side of a Senecio warnockii flower showing the way the involucre (bracts) come up over the base of the flower
Senecio warnockii stem with long, linear leaves and multiple yellow flowers in a cluster

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