Senecio is from the Latin senex meaning old man and refers to the beard like pappus on the seed.
A scrambling, somewhat fleshy, smooth, hairless, perennial running vine with large clusters of fragrant yellow flowers in autumn and lobed-triangular, bright green leaves.
Stipules - None
Petiole - 20-50 mm long. Smooth and hairless. Green. Flattish or in grooved on the topside.
Blade - triangular lobed, somewhat fleshy, somewhat shiny. Veins spreading like fingers. 40-70 mm long by 40-70 mm wide. Base squarish. Sides coarsely toothed to palmately lobed. Tip pointed. Hairless.
Stem leaves -
Slender to 5000 and occasionally 10000 mm long forming a loose mat to 300 mm deep. Round, week, evergreen. Green and often purple on side exposed to the sun.
Flower stem -
Numerous flowers on stalks (corymbose) in a branched arrangement. Flower buds cylindrical and about 3 mm diameter.
Ray florets or "Petals" - Yellow, 3-6 that are 8-10 mm long
Disk florets - Yellow, 10-12 that are 12-15 mm long.
Bracts - 5-7 that are 6-7 mm long with 2-4 smaller bracts below.
Achene, about 2 mm long and smooth.
Crown of hairs, 6-7 mm long on top of seed.
Leaves somewhat circular to broad-obovate, palmately lobed and veined.
Involucre bracts <10
Marginal florets female
Disk florets bisexual and more numerous than female florets.
Ligules yellow and 8-10 mm long.
Adapted from Gwen Harden
By stem fragments and seed.
April to May in WA.
Winter in NSW.
Seed Biology and Germination:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread mainly by the dumping of garden refuse.
Origin and History:
NSW, NT, QLD, WA.
Naturalised in the Swan Coastal Plain, Jarrah Forest and Esperance plains regions.
Black calcareous sand, grey sands, sandy clay, gravel, limestone.
Moist gullies, cliff faces and disturbed areas
Ornamental garden plant.
Weed of disturbed bushland. Scrambles over other vegetation.
No cases of toxicity reported but closely related species cause liver damage after long and continuous consumption by sheep, cattle and horses.
Management and Control:
Avoid dumping garden refuse in bushland or moving soil from infested areas.
If removing manually, collect all stem fragments and burn because these can survive for many months if left on site.
Mowing provides control.
Spray with 500 mL/ha clopyralid (300 g/L) or 200 g/ha clopyralid (750 g/L) plus 0.25% wetting agent.
Spot spray with 10 mL clopyralid (300 g/L) or 4 g clopyralid (750 g/L) plus 25 mL wetting agent in 10 L water.
If removing by hand collect all stem fragments as these will take root if left on site. Burn collected stems.
African Daisy (Senecio pterophorus)
Bushy Groundsel (Senecio cunninghamii)
Canary Creeper (Senecio tamoides)
Cape Ivy or Climbing Groundsel (Senecio angulatus)
Commonwealth weed (Senecio bipinnatisectus)
Cotton Fireweed (Senecio quadridentatus)
Feathery Groundsel (Senecio anethifolius)
Fireweed (Senecio lautus)
Fireweed Groundsel (Senecio linearifolius)
Fleshy Groundsel (Senecio gregorii)
Hispid Fireweed (Senecio hispidulus)
Holly-leaved Senecio (Senecio glastifolius)
Mountain Fireweed (Senecio gunnii)
Purple Groundsel (Senecio elegans)
Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
Slender Groundsel (Senecio glossanthus)
Squarrose Fireweed (Senecio squarrosus)
Tall Groundsel (Senecio runcinifolius)
Tall Yellowtop (Senecio magnificus)
Plants of similar appearance:
Blue Periwinkle (Vinca major)
Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata) has stipules and no "petals".
Dolichos Pea (Dipogon lignosus) has pea type flowers.
Ivy (Hedera species)
New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonoides)
Sea Spinach (Tetragonia decumbens)
Wandering Jew (Tradescantia albiflora)
Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).
Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).
Gardner, G.A. and Bennetts, H.W. (1956). The toxic plants of Western Australia. (West Australian Newspapers Ltd, Perth). P196.
Harden, Gwen J. (1991). Flora of NSW. (Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney). Volume . P307. Diagram.
Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P104.
Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #919.19
Paczkowska, G. and Chapman, A. (2000). The Western Australia flora: a descriptive catalogue. (Wildflower Society of Western Australia (Inc), the Western Australian Herbarium, CALM and the Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority). P176.
Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P. Photo.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.