PRAIRIE GROUNDSEL
File Size: 86 KB
 
Packera plattensis   (Nutt. ) W.A. Weber & A. Löve
[=Senecio plattensis Nutt.]
Riley County, Kansas
Biennial or short-lived perennial
Height: 4-28 inches
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   April, May, June
Also Called: Prairie ragwort.
Stems: Erect, single or rarely 2-3-clustered, generally unbranched, woolly-hairy below.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked below, sessile above, sometimes purplish-tinged, woolly-hairy when young, nearly glabrous when mature; basal leaves elliptic-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 1/2 to 4 inches long, 1/4 to 2 inches wide; margins toothed; stem leaves pinnately divided, irregularly dissected, or, nearly entire; upper leaves gradually reduced in size.
Inflorescences: Flat-topped clusters of 6-20 heads, terminal; heads bell-shaped, about 1 inch wide; bracts frequently 13 or 21, about 1/4 inch long.
Flowers: Ray florets 8-13, less than 1/2 inch long, yellow; disk florets numerous, corollas yellowish orange.
Fruits: Achenes, ribbed, minutely hairy or glabrous, tipped with long, white, hair-like bristles, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Dry upland prairies and roadsides, on rocky, sandy or gravelly soils.
Distribution: Nearly throughout Kansas.
Toxicity: Prairie groundsel can be poisonous to cattle, and they are known to consume it. However, it rarely occurs in populations large enough to be a problem.

Prairie groundsel head
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
130 KB
Russell County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel in fruit
68 KB
Lincoln County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
102 KB
Smith County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
131 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
61 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
63 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Prairie groundsel
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Dickinson County, Kansas