*Senecio madagascariensis

Family Asteraceae

Fireweed

Short lived perennial herb to 60 cm high. Taproot shallow, branching with numerous fibrous roots within 20 cm of soil surface. Longevity 1 - 2 years.

Flowers: Yellow, June October.

Fruit: Achene 2 mm long, with pappus of fine silky white feathery hairs, 6 mm long. Mature June November.

Seed: 100 150 seeds per inflorescence and a total of 25,00030,000 seeds per plant. Seeds mainly wind dispersed over short distances. Soil stored seedbank. Seedlings commonly noted in woodland.

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout

Ecology

  • Native of Southern Africa.
  • Common weed of grasslands and roadsides in full sun to light shade.
  • Common in grassland at the Australian Botanic Garden.
  • Reported host to Magpie Moth Nyctemera amica.
  • Killed by fire.
  • Recruits abundantly in open areas in burnt and unburt sites after rain.

Asterisk * indicates exotic species naturalised at the Australian Botanic Garden.

Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Senecio madagascariensis plant

Senecio madagascariensis flower

Senecio madagascariensis fruit