balsam groundsel

(Packera paupercula)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

balsam groundsel

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Wet to moderate moisture. Prairies, meadows, stream banks.

Flowering

May to August

     
Flower Color

Yellow ray florets, yellow or golden yellow disk florets

     
Height

4 to 24

     

Identification

This is a highly variable, 4 to 24 tall, erect, perennial forb. It is abundant and widespread. It rises on usually 1 stem, occasionally 2 to 4 loosely clustered stems, from a slender or stout, erect to horizontal rootstock. Older plants form a small underground caudex. It often forms dense colonies. It sometimes reproduces vegetatively by short or creeping rhizomes, but rarely produces above-ground, creeping stems (stolons).

The stems are erect, light green, hollow, and cylinder-shaped with shallow ridges. When young they are lightly covered with tufts of short, matted, woolly hairs. They soon become almost hairless except at the base and in the leaf axils.

Basal leaves are narrowly egg-shaped to elliptic or inversely lance-shaped. They are on long leaf stalks. They are 1 to 2 long, to ¾ wide. They are tapered, sometimes widely, at the base, and rounded or bluntly pointed at the tip. They are usually unlobed, but sometimes have a few narrow, irregular lobes near the base. The lower surface is hairless or sparsely to moderately hairy with inconspicuous hairs. The margins may be sharply toothed or have rounded teeth. Basal leaves are persistent, usually present when the plant is in flower.

Stem leaves are alternate. Lower stem leaves are stalked, deeply lobed (pinnatifid), and sometimes much larger than the basal leaves. As they ascend the stem the leaves become gradually smaller, deeply pinnately lobed, and stalkless or nearly stalkless. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless except sometimes for patches of dense, cobwebby hairs near the base. The margins are sharply toothed.

The inflorescence is a dense or loose, branched cluster of less than 20, usually 2 to 10, flower heads at the end of the stem. The outer heads are on longer flower stalks than the inner heads, resulting in a flat topped cluster. The flower stalks are hairless and usually have a small, leaf-like bract at the base.

The flower heads are ½ to 1¼ wide. There are 13 or 21 green bracts united for most of their length into a cylinder-shaped flower cup (calyx), and separated at the tip into pointed, thin, purple-tipped lobes. The calyx is usually hairless, sometimes with cobwebby hairs near the base. There are 8 or 13 yellow ray florets and 50 to 65 or more yellow disk florets.

The fruit is an achene.

 
Similar
Species

Prairie groundsel (Packera plattensis) sometimes produces well-developed stolons. The inflorescences may have more than 20 flower heads. The flower heads have 8 to 10 ray florets.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Asteraceae (aster)

 

Subfamily:

Asteroideae

 

Supertribe:

Senecionodae

 

Tribe:

Senecioneae

 

Subtribe:

Senecioninae

 
Synonyms

Senecio balsamitae

Senecio crawfordii

Senecio gaspensis

Senecio gaspensis var. firmifolius

Senecio pauperculus

Senecio pauperculus var. balsamitae

Senecio pauperculus var. crawfordii

Senecio pauperculus var. firmifolius

Senecio pauperculus var. neoscoticus

Senecio pauperculus var. praelongus

Senecio pauperculus var. thompsoniensis

Senecio tweedyi

 
Common
Names

balsam groundsel

balsam ragwort

Canadian butterweed

northern meadow groundsel

northern ragwort


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

bractlet

A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it.

 

calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

pinnatifid

Deeply cut, more than half way to the midrib but not to the midrib, into lobes that are spaced out along the midrib; the lobes do not form separate leaflets.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

stolon

An above-ground, creeping stem that grows along the ground and produces roots and sometimes new plants at its nodes. A runner.

       

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  Senecio pauperculus BALSAM RAGWORT
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  Senecio pauperculus BALSAM RAGWORT  

 

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