Common ragwort

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. January 2018.

Scientific name: Senecio vulgaris L.

Common name(s): common ragwort, old-man-in-the-Spring

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– annual

-Asteraceae (daisy) family

-can germinate in spring, summer, or fall

– toxic to many herbivores

-can survive outdoors in the winter

-leaves are

  • distinctively lobed
  • alternate
  • lanceolate
  • 3-6 inches


-cool moist climates

-full sun




-can have multiple generations per year

-do not let plants go to seed

-flowers can produce seeds after being hand weeded



NC Cooperative Extension. “Senecio Vulgaris.” North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, North Carolina State University,