Golden Ragwort, Packera aurea
(formerly Senecio aureus)
Asteraceae or Sunflower Family
Erect plant, up to two and a half feet tall, with flowers in a branching,
terminal cluster. Flower heads consisting of a button of tiny orange
yellow disc flowers surrounded by 8-15 long, narrow, bright yellow ray
flowers. Leaves of two kinds. Basal leaves come up directly from
roots and are large and heart shaped, with blunt teeth. Stem
leaves long, more or less divided into many lobes which have large teeth at
the ends. Stem leaves are stalkless and grasp the stem with their
Native plant of wet places. In Wildwood a large
population exists in Connelly's Run floodplain, and on the slopes above it,
where water drains down from the wetland near the entrance..
The two very different kinds of leaves are highly
distinctive. Many members of the Asteraceae are yellow and it is
difficult to identify them with surety. Ragworts tend to have deeply
cut stem leaves and relatively small flowers in relatively large clusters.
Prairie ragwort (Packera plattensis)
also occurs in Wildwood, but it prefers dry, open, rocky habitats and would
never be found in the wet places preferred by golden ragwort.