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     See Senecio atratus for a discussion of the differences between Senecio, Ligularia, and Packera.
Senecio spartioides
Senecio spartioides
Senecio spartioides (Broom Ragwort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Sandy, gravelly openings, shrublands.  Summer, fall.
Above: Lower Butler Wash, Utah, October 27, 2013. Left: Squaw Creek Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, September 10, 2005.

Senecio spartioides grows in an open, many stemmed, airy manner with numerous bright gold/yellow flowers in flat-topped clusters.  Leaves are narrow, to four inches long, and lower leaves are often withered by flowering time --  giving the plant a strange appearance: dead on the bottom and vibrant on top.  In Canyon Country, Senecio spartioides often grows in open, sandy areas where plants are well-spaced and its two-to-three foot height and bright flowers really stand out.

"Oides" is a form of the Greek "oid", which means "similar to" and thus "spartioides" means "similar to spart(ium)", a genus of Fabaceae (Pea Family).

Senecio spartioides was first collected by John C. Fremont along the Sweetwater River in Wyoming, in 1842 and was named and described by Torrey and Gray in their Flora of North America in 1843. (Click the title to read.)

Senecio spartioides Senecio spartioides variety multicapitatus

Senecio spartioides variety multicapitatus

Senecio spartioides (Broom Ragwort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Sandy, gravelly openings, shrublands.  Summer, fall.
Squaw Creek Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, September 10, 2005.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness, October 8, 2007.

Leaves of Senecio spartioides can vary from entire (as in the top photograph at left) to having slender lateral segments (as in the second and third photographs at left).

Senecio spartioides
Senecio spartioides (Broom Ragwort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Sandy, gravelly openings, shrublands.  Summer, fall.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, November 8, 2007.

Senecio spartioides' silvery white pappus hairs, that carry the tiny, brown seeds aloft, attract as much attention as the golden yellow flowers.  The hairs are common on many members of the Sunflower Family, most famously on Dandelions, Taraxacum officinale.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Senecio spartioides  

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