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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect[1][2]. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out[3]. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds[3].

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - cooked or raw[4][5]. The young leaves have been used in many areas as a salad, though this is very inadvisable, see the notes on toxicity at the top of the page[4].

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Senecio vulgaris.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Groundsel has a long history of herbal use and, although not an officinal plant, it is still often used by herbalists[3]. The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative[3][1][6][7]. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative[3]. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required[3]. Use with caution[6]. This plant should not be used by pregnant women[4], see also the notes above on toxicity. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[1]. It is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and nose bleeds[1].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - it doesn't need any encouragement from us.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Senecio vulgaris. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A common weed of cultivated land, it does not require cultivation.

Groundsel is a good food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly and moth species, and is one of only two species that provide food for cinnabar moth caterpillars.

One report states that this plant was formerly cultivated as a food crop for livestock[7]! Since the plant is a cumulative toxin this use is most questionable.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Senecio vulgaris. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Senecio vulgaris.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Senecio vulgaris
Genus
Senecio
Family
Compositae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.53.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.2 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
  8. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
  9. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

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