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A picture of a Groundsel


Senecio vulgaris

Also known as

Birdseed, Chickweed, Flower Of St Macarius, Grinsel, Simson, Old-Man-In-The-Spring, Common Fireweed, Common Groundsel, Common Ragwort

Senecio vulgaris ENBLA01 by Enrico Blasutto (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Groundsel

The fluffy seedhead of a Senecio vulgaris plant in a garden with some green leaves
Some green Senecio vulgaris leaves in the wild
A close up of some green leaves and yellow Senecio vulgaris flowers in a garden
A photo of Groundsel
A photo of Groundsel

Groundsel Overview

Senecio vulgaris is a herbaceous annual that can grow up to 45cm tall. It flowers throughout the summer, producing interesting yellow blooms. It is self-pollinating and spread seeds quickly, they are dispersed by the wind and can catch on animal fur or human clothing. The seeds provide food for various birds such as finches and canaries throughout the year and this species is an important host species to multiple insects such as the cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae. Considered a weed in many locations and commonly known as groundsel, this species is native to Europe, northern Asia and areas of North Africa. It has a deciduous nature and thus loses its green foliage in the autumn and regrows new leaves in the spring. Its often found on disturbed ground, on sites like the edges of roads.

Common problems with Groundsel

How to propagate Groundsel


You can propagate the shrubs and climbers by semi-ripe cuttings in the summer.


The annuals by seed in spring and the perennials by division in spring.


Special features of Groundsel

Attracts butterflies

Attracts useful insects

Attracts birds

Other uses of Groundsel