by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Senecio vulgaris   (Common Groundsel)

Senecio vulgaris  (ASTERACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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General Information Species Images
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Detailed species profile
Asteraceae Index Plant Family Index
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Profile Date Dec-2004 (taxon update: Dec-2004)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Senecio vulgaris - datasheet created on Dec-2004. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Senecio vulgarisL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 867 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms

Plant Family :

Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl (=Compositae) (The Daisy or Sunflower Family)
123 species from the Asteraceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Common Groundsel, Old-man-in-the-Spring

Maltese name(s) :

Kubrita, Ħaxixa tal-kanali

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

November – May

Colour of Flowers:

Green or Yellow


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Senecio: from senex meaning old man for the possession of hairy parts in flower bracts, becoming more evident when fruiting. (Latin origin )
vulgaris: common and widespread, at least when this plant was described. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Cultivated ground, waste places and maritime sands.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Quite ruderal and cosmopolitan, found mostly in roadsides, pathways, wasteland, cultivated areas in urban places (e.g.. traffic islands). It can be also found in the wild at/near disturbed areas
Botanical Description: Subglabrous or somewhat floccose, rather succulent annual up to 40 cm, with weak, irregularly-branched stems. Leaves coarsely pinnatifid with distant, obtuse, toothed lobes; basal and lower cauline leaves oblanceolate in outline, shortly petiolate; middle and upper cauline leaves oblong in outline, auriculate-amplexicaul. Capitula numerous, 4-5 mm in diameter (in common discoid variant), subsessile in dense, subcorymbose clusters at anthesis; peduncles elongating in fruit. Involucre cylindrical; involucral bracts 5-8 mm, usually glabrous and often black-tipped; supplementary bracts 8-10, 1-2 mm, usually black-tipped, sometimes blackish throughout. Ligules usually absent, sometimes 6-12, yellow, short, revolute immediately after anthesis. Achenes 1.5-2(-2.5) mm, appressed-hairy between the ribs.
Chromosome number: 2n=40
Distributional range: Throughout Europe, but only as a casual in the extreme north.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
All Europe except Svalbard archipelago
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ab(A) AE(G T) Ag Al Ar Au(A L) Be(B L) BH Bl(I M N) Br Bu By dCa(C F G) -Ca(H) Ca(L P T) Cg Co Cr Cs Ct Cy Da Eg Es Fa Fe Ga(C F M) Ge Gg Gr Hb(E N) He Ho Hs(A G S) Hu Ir Is It La Le Li Lt Lu Ma dMd(D M P) Mk Mo No Rf(C CS E K N NW S) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sk Sl Sn Sr Su Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U) [nAz(F G L M P S T) nPo]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

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Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (30 images)
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-0.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-1.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-2.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-3.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-4.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-5.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-6.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-7.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-8.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-9.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-10.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-11.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-12.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-13.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-14.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-15.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-16.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-17.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-18.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-19.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-20.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-21.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-22.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-23.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-24.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-25.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-26.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-27.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-28.
   Senecio vulgaris   -   Image Code: SENVU-29.

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