Common Groundsel

    Senecio vulgaris

    Common Groundsel

    Common groundsel (Robert Videki,

    Common Groundsel

    Common groundsel (Carol, Wikimedia Commons)



    • upright growth (6 inches – 1-1/2 feet tall) with fleshy, ribbed stems that are often purplish
    • stems are hollow and leaves are arranged alternately along stems; mature leaves are deeply lobed and fleshy
    • flowers are long and cylindrical; yellow petals peak out of vase-shaped green sepals like a tube of lipstick; sepals peel back to reveal a dandelion-like, globe-shaped seed head


    • commonly grows in planting beds but can sometimes be found in lawn areas

    Life Cycle

    • winter annual with seeds that germinate in early to mid-spring and again in autumn
    • flower production occurs 5 to 6 weeks after germination and seeds mature 5 to 11 days after flowering; mature seeds are immediately viable

    IPM Recommendations

    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation.
    • Shallow tillage or hoeing will control young plants in planting beds.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate post-emergent broadleaf herbicide directly to target weeds.