Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Herbs, subshrubs or shrubs, sometimes succulent or climbing. Leaves alternate, sometimes radical, entire or lobed. Capitula either (1) heterogamous with marginal fertile (rarely sterile) female florets and bisexual disk florets or (2) homogamous. Calyculus of usually much shorter basal bracts present. Flowers usually yellow, less often purple or white. Phyllaries in 1 subequal series. Receptacle flat or ± convex, without scales, pitted or shortly fimbriate. Pappus of bristles.

Mikaniopsis cissampelina greatly resembles a climbing Senecio.
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Ecology

Associations

Foodplant / miner
larva of Acidia cognata mines leaf of Senecio

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
effuse colony of Botryosporium anamorph of Botryosporium pulchrum parasitises live Senecio
Remarks: season: 5-11

Foodplant / miner
larva of Chromatomyia syngenesiae mines leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / parasite
subepidermal telium of Coleosporium tussilaginis parasitises live Senecio
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / gall
larva of Contarinia jacobeae causes gall of live inflorescence of Senecio

Plant / resting place / on
Haplothrips setiger may be found on live flower of Senecio

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Kalmusia clivensis is saprobic on dead stem of Senecio
Remarks: season: 5-6

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Lachnella villosa is saprobic on dead, decayed stem of Senecio

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent pseudothecium of Leptosphaeria doliolum is saprobic on dead stem of Senecio
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
pseudothecium of Leptosphaeria ogilviensis is saprobic on dead stem of Senecio

Foodplant / miner
larva of Liriomyza strigata mines leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus aeneicollis grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus dorsalis grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus flavicornis grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus ganglbaueri grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus ochroleucus grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus suturellus grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Napomyza lateralis feeds within stem of Senecio
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Nodulosphaeria dolioloides is saprobic on dead stem of Senecio

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Olibrus corticalis feeds on Senecio

Foodplant / open feeder
nocturnal larva of Pachyprotasis simulans grazes on leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Paroxyna lhommei feeds on Senecio
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / gall
telium of Puccinia glomerata causes gall of live leaf of Senecio

Foodplant / gall
cluster-cup of aecium of Puccinia lagenophorae causes gall of live leaf (esp. midrib) of Senecio

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Pyrenopeziza adenostylidis is saprobic on dead stem of Senecio
Remarks: season: 5-11

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial colony of Sarcopodium dematiaceous anamorph of Sarcopodium circinatum is saprobic on dead stem of Senecio

Foodplant / visitor
adult of Thecophora visits for nectar and/or pollen flower of Senecio

Plant / resting place / on
male of Thrips pillichi may be found on live flower of Senecio
Remarks: season: 6-9

Foodplant / miner
larva of Trypeta artemisiae mines leaf of Senecio

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Known predators

Senecio (groundsel (forb/shrub)(Senecio sp.)) is prey of:
Antilocapra americana

Based on studies in:
USA: California, Cabrillo Point (Grassland)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • L. D. Harris and L. Paur, A quantitative food web analysis of a shortgrass community, Technical Report No. 154, Grassland Biome. U.S. International Biological Program (1972), from p. 17.
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Leaves protect from frost: cabbage groundsel
 

Terminal buds of the cabbage groudsel get protection from the frost by the leaves folding over them at night.

   
  "A second kind of giant groundsel, growing in slightly moister places, carries its leaves at ground level so that its rosettes look like giant cabbages. They guard their central buds from the frost by folding their leaves over each night. The outer leaves will be frozen, but they, like those of their tree-forming relatives, can withstand that and the tender terminal bud, which cannot, is safe within their tight embrace." (Attenborough 1995:260)

"There are also two species of lobelia on the upper slopes of the  mountain [Mount Kenya]. Both form giant rosettes of leaves on the  ground. They are in just as much danger of having their terminal buds  frost-bitten as the cabbage groundsel and one of them takes the same  preventative measures, folding its leaves over the terminal buds each  night." (Attenborough 1995:261)

  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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Functional adaptation

Rootlets reabsorb nutrients: giant groundsel
 

The trunk of the giant groundsel recycles nutrients from dead attached leaves by sprouting rootlets to extract remaining nutrients.

   
  "Groundsels also grow here [on Mount Kenya]. They are relatives of the dandelions and ragworts that flourish as small yelllow-flowered weeds in European gardens. On Mount Kenya, they have evolved into giants. One grows into a tree up to thirty feet tall. Each of its branches ends in a dense rosette of large robust leaves. As the branches grow, so each year the lower ring of leaves in the rosette turn yellow and die. But they are not shed. Instead, they remain attached and form a thick lagging around the trunk. This is of crucial importance to the groundsel. The living leaves in the rosette contain special substances that prevent frost damage to the tissues and even though they may become covered by hoar frost during the night, they thaw out rapidly in the powerful warmth of the morning sun. But then the water within them starts to evaporate through their pores. If the liquid in the supply pipes running up through the trunk were to have frozen during the night, then the leaves would now be unable to replace their water and they would be baked dry and killed. The lagging of the dead leaves, however, prevents the pipes within the trunk from freezing and that particular danger is averted…The solution, however, generates another problem -- this time a nutritional one. Retaining the dead leaves on the trunk prevents the nutrients in them from being released into the soil where they could be reclaimed by the roots. The giant tree-groundsel overcomes that difficulty in the same way as the giant cushion plant of Tasmania. It sprouts rootlets from the side of the trunk which thrust their way into the lagging and extract what nutriment remains there." (Attenborough 1995:260)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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Functional adaptation

Dead leaves function as insulation: giant groundsel
 

Leaves of the giant groundsel protect from freezing because those that die remain on the plant and serve as insulation.

   
  "Groundsels also grow here [on Mount Kenya]. They are relatives of the dandelions and ragworts that flourish as small yellow-flowered weeds in European gardens. On Mount Kenya, they have evolved into giants. One grows into a tree up to thirty feet tall. Each of its branches ends in a dense rosette of large robust leaves. As the branches grow, so each year the lower ring of leaves in the rosette turn yellow and die. But they are not shed. Instead, they remain attached and form a thick lagging around the trunk. This is of crucial importance to the groundsel. The living leaves in the rosette contain special substances that prevent frost damage to the tissues and even though they may become covered by hoar frost during the night, they thaw out rapidly in the powerful warmth of the morning sun. But then the water within them starts to evaporate through their pores. If the liquid in the supply pipes running up through the trunk were to have frozen during the night, then the leaves would now be unable to replace their water and they would be baked dry and killed. The lagging of the dead leaves, however, prevents the pipes within the trunk from freezing and that particular danger is averted…The solution, however, generates another problem -- this time a nutritional one. Retaining the dead leaves on the trunk prevents the nutrients in them from being released into the soil where they could be reclaimed by the roots. The giant tree-groundsel overcomes that difficulty in the same way as the giant cushion plant of Tasmania. It sprouts rootlets from the side of the trunk which thrust their way into the lagging and extract what nutriment remains there." (Attenborough 1995:260)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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Functional adaptation

Antifreeze prevents frost damage: giant groundsel
 

The leaves of groundsels on Mount Kenya are protected from frost damage by an internal antifreeze substance.

     
  "Groundsels also grow here [on Mount Kenya]. They are relatives of the dandelions and ragworts that flourish as small yelllow-flowered weeds in European gardens. On Mount Kenya, they have evolved into giants. One grows into a tree up to thirty feet tall. Each of its branches ends in a dense rosette of large robust leaves. As the branches grow, so each year the lower ring of leaves in the rosette turn yellow and die. But they are not shed. Instead, they remain attached and form a thick lagging around the trunk. This is of crucial importance to the groundsel. The living leaves in the rosette contain special substances that prevent frost damage to the tissues and even though they may become covered by hoar frost during the night, they thaw out rapidly in the powerful warmth of the morning sun. But then the water within them starts to evaporate through their pores. If the liquid in the supply pipes running up through the trunk were to have frozen during the night, then the leaves would now be unable to replace their water and they would be baked dry and killed. The lagging of the dead leaves, however, prevents the pipes within the trunk from freezing and that particular danger is averted…The solution, however, generates another problem -- this time a nutritional one. Retaining the dead leaves on the trunk prevents the nutrients in them from being released into the soil where they could be reclaimed by the roots. The giant tree-groundsel overcomes that difficulty in the same way as the giant cushion plant of Tasmania. It sprouts rootlets from the side of the trunk which thrust their way into the lagging and extract what nutriment remains there." (Attenborough 1995:260)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 794
Specimens with Sequences: 827
Specimens with Barcodes: 158
Species: 297
Species With Barcodes: 287
Public Records: 227
Public Species: 134
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Senecio

S. aureus Golden Ragwort
S. barbertonicus Succulent Bush Senecio
S. haworthii Woolly Senecio
Senecio jacobaea, Common ragwort
Tephroseris palustris, Swamp Ragwort

Senecio /sɨˈnʃi./[1] is a genus of the daisy family (Asteraceae) that includes ragworts and groundsels. Variously circumscribed, the genus Senecio is one of the largest genera of flowering plants, cleaved or not of species belonging to other genera. The 'traditional' circumscription of Senecio is artificial, being polyphyletic.[2] The flower heads are normally rayed, completely yellow, and the heads are borne in branched clusters. Senecio is one of the largest genera of flowering plants,[3] and despite the separation of many species into other genera it still contains c. 1250 species of varied form, including leaf, stem and tuber succulents, annuals, perennials, aquatics, climbers, shrubs and small trees. Some species produce natural biocides (especially alkaloids) to deter or even kill animals that would eat them.

Senecio species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species — see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Senecio. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been found in Senecio nemorensis[4] and in Senecio cannabifolius var. integrilifolius[5]

The name means "old man".

Selected species[edit]

Formerly in Senecio

Synonyms[edit]

The following genera contain species that are or have been included within Senecio.[9]

Probable synonyms:


See also[edit]

Ragwort Control Act 2003

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ Passalacqua et al. Taxon 57(3):893-906. 2008.
  3. ^ David G. Frodin (2004). "History and concepts of big plant genera". Taxon 53 (3): 753–776. doi:10.2307/4135449. JSTOR 4135449. 
  4. ^ Shi BJ, Xiong AZ, Zheng SS, Chou GX, Wang ZT., "Two new pyrrolizidine alkaloids from Senecio nemorensis." Nat Prod Res. 2010 Dec;24(20):1897-901
  5. ^ Ma H, Yang L, Wang C, Wang Z.."Pyrrolizidine alkaloids of Senecio cannabifolius var. integrilifolius].Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2011 Jan;36(2):166-8. [Article in Chinese]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21506416?dopt=Abstract
  6. ^ Sean Claes (2007-04-16). "Proceed With Caution". Kyle, Texas Daily Photo. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  7. ^ Connecticut Botanical Society (November 13, 2005). "Golden Ragwort". Connecticut Wildflowers. Retrieved 2008-02-09. "Golden Ragwort is one of three species of ragwort in Connecticut, all with similar flowers." 
  8. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "German Ivy". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  9. ^ Pelser, Pieter B.; Nordenstam, Bertil; Kadereit, Joachim W.; Watson, Linda E. (November 2007). "An ITS phylogeny of tribe Senecioneae (Asteraceae) and a new delimitation of Senecio L.". Taxon (International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)) 56 (4): 1077–14E(–1062). doi:10.2307/25065905. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  10. ^ Norton, D.A. (1986). "Recent changes in the names of New Zealand tree and shrub species". New Zealand Journal of Forestry 31: 39–40. 
  11. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2007-05-04). "Genus: Senecio L.". Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
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Senecio bahioides

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