Common Ragwort is a
biennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in grassland, scrubland and hedgerows, to a mature height of up to 90cm.
The name 'Ragwort' means 'ragged plant', describing the 'scruffy' much-divided, lobed and curled appearance of the plant's leaves. The non-native Oxford Ragwort, by contrast, has very different and much 'neater' leaves, which are less divided, flatter and more open in structure.
Botanic classification and naming: Common Ragwort is a member of the Daisy (Asteraceae) family. The genus name
'Senecio' identifies the plant as a Ragwort and its species name 'jacobaea' means 'named after St James (Jacobus)'.
Concerns: Common Ragwort is toxic, causing poisoning to cattle, sheep and horses, including liver damage. Common Ragwort is listed as an 'injurious weed' under the Weeds Act 1959, meaning it is officially considered harmful to agriculture and requires control.
Benefits: Pollinated by bees, butterflies and flies. The yellow and black striped caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth mainly feed on both the leaves and flowers of Common Ragwort.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.