Ohio’s Noxious Weeds
Packera glabellus, cressleaf groundsel
Family: Composite, Asteraceae.
Habitat: Wet woods, swamps, stream banks, pastures, roadsides and fields.
Life cycle: Winter annual.
Growth Habit: 1-3 feet tall, branched.
Leaves: Alternate, deeply divided with wide, round-toothed lobes; basal and lower leaves up to 8 inches long; upper leaves similar but smaller.
Stems: Succulent, smooth and hollow.
Flower: April – June. Clusters of bright yellow, daisy-like blooms, 0.5 – 1 inch in diameter. Each flower is enclosed by green bracts.
Fruit: White seeds borne in white feathery structures, similar to dandelion seeds, spread by wind.
Similar weeds: Common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) usually does not have a hollow stem and is shorter than Cressleaf groundsel. This weed also might be confused with members of the mustard family, but Cressleaf groundsel is in the aster family. The small flower heads have 7-12 ray flowers; mustard flowers have four petals per flower.
The problem is…. This weed is poisonous to grazing animals and spreads very quickly. The name groundsel is from the Anglo-Saxon word groundeswelge which means “ground swallower.”