Common Groundsel

Common Groundsel
Common Groundsel. Senecio vulgaris.
Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower, or composite family.

Plant: Usually low, branching plant, 6"-18" high, but sometimes taller; smooth, or with cobwebby hairiness, with lobed leaves and closed heads of yellowish flowers. Annual.
Flowers: Closed, vase-shaped heads, that show a yellow eye of bunched flowers at the tip. Involucral bracts are distinctively black-tipped. In loose clusters (cymes) at the ends of branches.
Leaves: Alternate, obovate in general outline, 1"-4", toothed to deeply cut into toothed lobes, and stalkless (sessile).
Fruit: An open globular head of achenes with parachutes of silky hairs.
Blooming: April-October.
Habitat: Open, disturbed ground, weedy areas.

Comments: Introduced from Eurasia, this species is a troublesome weed in some areas, often sprouting in recently tilled soil. The plant contains a toxic alkaloid that can cause liver damage if consumed in sufficient quantity.

Where to find it: I have found this plant mostly growing as a weed in the gardens around the lodge.