Common Groundsel

Pest: Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris), Old-Man-Of-The-Spring

Pest Type: Annual broadleaf weed

Major Identifying Features: Deeply lobed leaves that are directly attached to the stem, leaves alternate and are hairless, grows up to 2 feet tall and is often branched, flowers are surrounded by green bracts with black tips, bright yellow flower, a ball of white tufted seeds

Life Cycle: Winter annual, seeds germinate in late fall through spring and dies in summer heat

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Widespread in California, likes cooler temperatures, can be found year-round near the coast or shady areas

Damage Information: One of the major weeds in nurseries, competitive in landscape areas and gardens but not in lawns, can cause chronic liver poisoning in horses, cattle, swine, can produce 25000 or more seeds per plant, there can be up to three generations per year

Management Options: Prevention by eliminating plant before flowering, by shallow tilling and hoeing of young plants, cultural and mechanical control by hand removal, cutting, hoeing, mulching, synthetic mulching, biological control with rust fungus, chemical control is not advised but can be done with diquat and glyphosphate

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu

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