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Butterweed is the weediest native Senecio spp. in Illinois. It is more tall and coarse in appearance than these other species, which are short-lived perennials. In particular, the hollow central stem of Butterweed stands out as being more stout. Because Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris) is sometimes abundant in agricultural fields during the spring, it is possible to confuse this plant with Butterweed, especially when such plants are viewed from a distance. The inflorescences of Butterweed are more flat-topped and its flowerheads are a deeper shade of yellow, while the inflorescences of Yellow Rocket have a more vertical structure and its flowers are pale yellow. These two plants are not closely related, as Yellow Rocket is a member of the Mustard family (Brassicaceae). Return

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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