Senecio lemmonii, Lemmon's Ragwort
Scientific Name: Senecio lemmonii
Common Name: Lemmon's Ragwort
Also Called: Lemmon Groundsel
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Senecio decorticans)
Size: Up to 3 feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; erect or ascending; stems and leaves mostly glabrous.
Leaves: Green; leaves, up to 4 inches long; alternate; lanceolate to lance-linear; upper leaves sessile or clasping, auriculate; margins unevenly dentate; leaves with tufts of white hairs in leaf axils.
Flower Color: Yellow; 4 to 12 flowers in campanulate involucre; radiate heads about an inch or more wide; ray florets, disk florets orange-yellow; phyllaries tips with minute black dots; fruit an achene.
Flowering Season: February to May.
Elevation: 1,500 to 3,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Rocky slopes, dry hillsides, usually among shrubs.
Recorded Range: Lemmon's Ragwort is a relatively rare plant in the United States where it is found only in Arizona in the central and southern parts of the state as well as Yuma and Navajo Counties. It is also native to Baja California.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Senecio lemmonii.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Genus Information: In North America there are 70 species for Senecio. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica identify about 1,200 species distributed throughout the world.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 13 species of genus, California has 25 species, Nevada has 15 species, New Mexico has 22 species, Texas has 9 species, Utah has 18 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: Lemmon's Ragwort is an early spring bloomer that is common in Arizona in preferred habitats. Photo above taken April 12 near the Salt River along the Apache Trail, Fish Creek Hill, Maricopa County, Arizona. The type of Senecio decorticans is from along the Salt River, near the Apache Trail (Nelson 10309, 11287).
The genus Senecio is derived from the latin root senex meaning "old" or seneció for "old man" referring to the gray hairs on the seeds. Lemmonii is in honor of John Gill Lemmon (1832-1908) an American botanist, Civil War veteran and former prisoner of Andersonville. John G. Lemmon was married to fellow botanist, Sara Plummer Lemmon, and the two jointly cataloged numerous western and desert plants.