Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands
(a.k.a. Ragwort, groundsel)
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.
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