E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Senecio vulgaris L.
common groundsel (old-man-in-the-Spring)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Kevin Newell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1891)

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Distribution of Senecio vulgaris
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Species Information

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General:
Annual or biennial herb with a more or less evident taproot; stems erect, solitary, branched, glabrous to sparingly long-hairy, 10-55 cm tall.
Leaves:
Basal leaves oblanceolate to elliptic, stalked, 0.8-3 cm long, 0.3-1 cm wide, coarsely toothed or lobed, nearly glabrous to long-hairy, soon deciduous; stem leaves larger, 2-10 cm long, 0.5-4.5 cm wide, oblanceolate, coarsely toothed to more often pinnately cut, nearly glabrous to long-hairy, not greatly reduced upwards, with ear-like lobes, these clasping at the bases.
Flowers:
Heads discoid, several to numerous on glabrous to long-hairy stalks in an open inflorescence; involucres 5-8 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, green, black-tipped, glabrous, margins translucent, hairy at the tips; bracteoles numerous, conspicuous, black-tipped; discoid; disk flowers yellow.
Fruits:
Achenes oblong, faintly ribbed, bristly-hairy; pappus of white hairlike bristles.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Yellow
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, disturbed areas and gardens; common in WC and SW BC, rare elsewhere in S BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Senecio vulgaris

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 15 940 1990
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
150 207 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
24
Modal BEC Zone Class
CWH
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(7), ESSF(5), IDF(2), PP(1), SBS(3)

Ecological Indicator Information

Shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, European forb introduced transĀ­continentally. Occurs in maritime to submaritime climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Scattered to plentiful, occasionally dominant, in non-forested communities on cutover, fire-disturbed, or continuously disturbed sites, where it inhabits exposed mineral soils. Often associated with Anaphalis margaritacea, Hieraciumalbiflorum, Hypochaeris radicata, Holcus lanatus, and Mycelis muralis. A nitrophytic species characteristic of early-seral communities.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References