IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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As compared to the similar Prairie Ragwort (Senecio plattensis), this ragwort prefers habitats that are more moist. Balsam Ragwort differs from the former species by its glabrous foliage and more narrow basal leaves. The basal leaves of other perennial ragworts (Senecio spp.) in Illinois have basal leaves that are more broad. However, across its range, Balsam Ragwort is rather variable, possibly because of hybridization with similar species. The perennial ragworts in Illinois all bloom during the spring or early summer and they have showy yellow flowerheads. The annual and biennial ragworts in Illinois are mostly from Eurasia and they have less showy flowerheads. An exception is the native Butterweed (Senecio glabellus). This latter species is usually taller than the perennial ragworts and it lacks their conspicuous basal leaves during the blooming period. Sometimes the native perennial ragworts are assigned to the Packera genus, in which case Balsam Ragwort is referred to as Packera paupercula. Another common name of this species is Northern Ragwort.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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