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

Senecio hydrophiloides Rydb.
sweet-marsh butterweed (tall groundsel)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66855)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Senecio hydrophiloides
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a fibrous root; stems erect, solitary to several, branched above, glabrous, 0.3-1 m tall.
Basal leaves thickish, somewhat succulent, elliptic or broadly oblanceolate, stalked, sharply toothed, 12-35 cm long including the stalks, 2-7 cm wide, glabrous; stem leaves similar, progressively reduced upwards, becoming unstalked and lanceolate.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, several in an open or clustered inflorescence; involucres 5-10 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, with long-pointed, conspicuously black tips; bracteoles few, black-tipped; ray flowers yellow, 1-8 or sometimes lacking, 5-10 mm long; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes oblong, nerved, glabrous; pappus of white hairlike bristles.
The two weak varieties previously recognized by Douglas (1982) and Douglas et al. (1989) and others have recently been merged by Barkley (1994). The latter treatment has been followed here.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows and forest openings in the montane and lower subalpine zones; rare in SE BC; E to AB and S to ID and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Senecio hydrophiloides

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




Elevation (metres) 730 1159 1540
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 24
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 109 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(2), IDF(1), MS(1), PP(1), SBPS(1)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Senecio foetidus J.T. Howell
Senecio foetidus var. foetidus
Senecio foetidus var. hydrophiloides (Rydb.) T.M. Barkley ex Cronquist
Senecio pereziifolius Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References