Senecio vulgaris (old-man-in-the-spring, ground glutton, chickenweed, grimsel, ragwort)

description: winter or summer annual

place of origin: Eurasia

urban habitat: commonly found in neglected residential and commercial landscapes, vacant lots, waste dumps, stone walls, pavement openings; thrives in moist soils and full sun.

ecological function:
disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground; food for some birds and insects.

history: Senecio vulgaris arrived early in North America, probably brought by European colonists who valued the plant for its medicinal uses, including use as a diuretic, purgative, and in the treatment of menstrual disorders and nose bleeds. All parts of the plant are toxic to many mammals, including humans, affecting the liver slowly over time cumulatively.