Senecio inexpectatus
Betty, Lizard Head, and Senecio inexpectatus (Prickly Ragwort, Unexpected Ragwort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Scree, shale, openings. Summer, fall.
Cross Mountain Trail below Lizard Head, August 8, 2007.

Click to see how Packera is distinguished from Senecio.

Senecio inexpectatus

Senecio inexpectatus

Senecio inexpectatus. Synonym: Senecio fremontii variety inexpectatus. (Prickly Ragwort, Unexpected Ragwort)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Scree, shale, openings. Summer fall.
Cross Mountain Trail Below Lizard Head, August 30, 2019.

Senecio inexpectatus is known from only two locations, the original ("type") location in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah where it was discovered by Cronquist and Holmgren in 1961 and about 80 miles southeast of the type locale in the far western San Juan mountains of Colorado where my wife and I discovered it in the early 2000s. As the map below shows, the plants found in the La Sal Mountains occur in both Grand and San Juan counties. The peaks that Senecio inexpectatus is found on straddle the border of these two counties.

For a number of years after we discovered this taxon, it was considered a variety of Senecio fremontii, but in 2019 Guy Nesom and I re-examined the taxon and felt that it deserved species status. Guy did the research and compiled this description which gave species status to this taxon. Guy's work also gave species status to the common taxon of Colorado, now named Senecio blitoides, and to Senecio fremontii, the range of which is through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and some of Utah.

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
Questionable presence

Senecio inexpectatus

Range map for Senecio inexpectatus