Asteraceae . . . . . . Daisy family (part 3) (to part 1)


Leucanthemum . . . . . Ox-eye Daisies

Leucanthemum vulgare . . . . Ox-eye Daisy

Common rich soils; frequent in "wild-flower mixes"


Matricaria . . . . . Mayweeds

These have fruits with 4-5 ridges (c.f. Tripleurospermum - which have 3)

Matricaria discoidea . . . . Pineappleweed

Common weed of cultivated land

Matricaria chamomilla (M. recutita) . . . . Scented Mayweed

Similar to T. inodorum but usually scented and with conical/hollow receptacle (base of the fl); Ray florets usually hang down; Locally common in CI, En and Wa

See also:


Mycelis . . . . . Wall Lettuce

Mycelis muralis . . . . Wall Lettuce

Usually only about 5 florets; shady places in woods on walls, etc.

Similar spp.:


Lapsana communis

Olearia . . . . . Olearia or Daisy-bushes

A number of spp. have been introduced as garden and hedge plants that can naturalise

Olearia avicennifolia . . . . Olearia or Daisy-bush


Olearia lineata . . . . Olearia or Daisy-bush

Grown as hedging in CI

Onopordum . . . . . Cotton Thistle

Onopordum acanthum . . . . Cotton Thistle

Casual on waste ground in CI and S

Petasites . . . . . Heliotropes

Choose most similar sp. from below:

P. pyrenaicus
P. hybridus
P. albus
P. japonicus
Winter Heliotrope
Butterbur
White Butterbur
Giant Butterbur

Petasites albus . . . . White Butterbur

Naturalised in woods, esp. in S

Petasites pyrenaicus . . . . Winter Heliotrope

Throughout BI, esp. S; flowering in winter (Jan-Feb)

Petasites hybridus . . . . Butterbur


Petasites japonicus . . . . Giant Butterbur

Scattered by rivers and damp places

Similar spp. :

Homogyna alpina Tussilago

Picris . . . . . Oxtongues

Note that the outer (involucral) bracts of the flower head distinguish Picris and Heminthotheca - (broad in Helminthotheca echiodes and all narrow in P. hieracioides)


Picris hieracioides . . . . Hawkweed Oxtongue

Bristly plant, with outer row of bracts on flower head narrow (cf. broad ones on Helminthotheca); NB leaves have bristles with swollen white bases - see also Green Alkanet
Grassland on calcareous soil, esp. in S & E En

Pilosella . . . . . Mouse-ear-hawkweeds


Pilosella aurantiaca . . . . Fox-and-cubs

An invasive garden escape that sets seed frequently

Pilosella officinarum . . . . Mouse-ear-hawkweed

Note that P. officinarum spreads by stolons while the denser and more compact P. peleteriana is very local, being common only in the Channel Isles

Pilosella peleteriana . . . . Shaggy Mouse-ear-hawkweed

Very local, primarily in CI (where it is the commoner sp)

Other spp. include P. praealta (Tall mouse-ear-hawkweed), P. caespitosa (Yellow Fox-and-cubs) and Pilosella flagellaris (e.g. ssp. flagellaris (Spreading Mouse-ear-hawkweed) shown below) which is established esp. in C. Sc and S Yorkshire:

Pulicaria . . . . . Fleabane

Pulicaria dysenterica . . . . Fleabane

Common in marshes and wet fields From S to N Eng

Rudbeckia . . . . . Coneflower

Rudbeckia laciniata . . . . Coneflower

An uncommon garden escape, but esp. established around the upper Tay estuary

Saussurea . . . . . Alpine saw-wort

Saussurea alpina . . . . Alpine Saw-wort

Local in mountains (though down to sea level in N Sc)

See also Saw-wort:

Scorzoneroides . . . . Autumn Hawkbit

Scorzoneroides autumnalis . . . . Autumn Hawkbit

(ex. Leontodon autumnalis) Usually nearly hairless, except v hairy flower head; stems usually branched; note the little 'Cat's-ears' esp. near swollen top of stem; reddish underside of outer 'florets'; flower head tapers into stem; common autumn flowering

See also Hawkbits Leontodon, and Hawk's-beard (Crepis):

Jacobaea and Senecio . . . . . Groundsels and Ragworts

Choose on basis of:


Flower shape

Senecio vulgaris
Senecio vulgaris
Senecio viscosus
Senecio sylvaticus
Groundsel
Groundsel (rayed form)
Sticky Groundsel
Heath Groundsel
Jacobaea vulgaris
Senecio squalidus
Jacobaea aquatica
Jacobaea maritima
Ragwort
Oxford Ragwort
Marsh Ragwort
Heath Groundsel
Senecio inaequidens
Narrow-lvd Ragwort

Choose from leaf shapes:

J. aquatica
J. maritima
J. vulgaris
S. squalidus

Marsh Ragwort
Silver Ragwort
Ragwort
Oxford Ragwort
S. vulgaris
S. sylvaticus
S. viscosus
J. x albescens

Groundsel
Heath Groundsel
Sticky Groundsel
Hybrid Ragwort
S. inaequidens
Narrow-lvd Ragwort

Jacobaea (split from Senecio) . . . . Ragworts


Jacobaea aquatica (was Senecio aquaticus) . . . . Marsh Ragwort

Marshes and damp meadows through most of BI, esp. in Ire and W

Jacobaea maritima(was Senecio cineraria) . . . . Silver Ragwort

Naturalised on cliffs and rough ground by the sea CI and S & W

Jacobaea vulgaris (was Senecio jacobaea). . . . Ragwort

Common; stems often purple

Somewhat similar is J. erucifolia (Hoary Ragwort), which has lvs grey-hairy on lower side, esp. when young; common in En & Wa, local elsewhere

Jacobaea x albescens . . . . Silver Ragwort cross

On cliffs and rough ground by the sea CI and S & W near parents

See also Senecio below

Senecio . . . . . Ragworts and Groundsels


Senecio inaequidens . . . . Narrow-leaved Ragwort

Casual, esp. in S & E; to c. 1 m - can have woody base to stems

Senecio squalidus . . . . Oxford Ragwort

Spreading to most of BI; note black tipped 'phyllaries'

Senecio sylvaticus . . . . Heath Groundsel

Locally common on heaths and sandy places; distinguished from the stickier S. viscosus also by short outer bracts on fl head

Senecio viscosus . . . . Sticky Groundsel

Waste and rough ground; sticky-hairy with outer bracts on fl head c.1/2 length of head

Senecio vulgaris . . . . Groundsel

A common weed

Two rayed forms occur; the 1st on sand dunes in CI and SW Br, the 2nd more widely
ssp. denticulatus
ssp. vulgaris var. hibernicus

See also Jacobaea above

Serratula . . . . . Saw-wort

Serratula tinctoria . . . . Saw-wort

Grassland and cliff-tops rather local from Jersey to SW Sc

See also alpine saw-wort:

Silybum . . . . . Milk Thistle

Silybum marianum . . . . Milk Thistle

Naturalised with scattered distribution

Carduus tenuiflorus has similar (but smaller) white-veined lvs:

Sison . . . . . Stone Parsley

Sison amomum . . . . Stone Parsley

Similar to cow parsley, but lvs less divided and smells of petrol when crushed; locally frequent in Br N to Manchester

Sison segetum . . . . Corn Parsley

Umbels straggly with rays of different lengths, lvs similar to Pimpinella saxifraga; a plant of barish places mostly S of line from Lincs to Severn

Solidago . . . . . Golden-rod

Select from the three spp. shown below:

Solidago canadensis . . . . Canadian Golden-rod

Naturalised on waste land, hedgerows etc., esp. in C & S Br and CI

Solidago gigantea . . . . Early Golden-rod

Tall plant up to 2.5 m; Uncommon garden escape

Solidago virgaurea . . . . Golden-rod

Open grassland, hedgerows etc., up to high altitude

Sonchus . . . . . Sow-thistles

All spp. have milky sap

Choose from:

Sonchus arvensis . . . . Field Sow-thistle

Stem leaves have a 'smooth' profile with fine even teeth and have rounded 'ears' (auricles) at the base'; fls often densely covered with hairs with yellowish glands; common from arable and waste land to dunes by the sea

Sonchus asper . . . . Prickly Sow-thistle

Lvs prickly, auricles (ears at base of) of stem leaves rounded; widespread

Sonchus oleraceus . . . . Smooth Sow-thistle

Auricles (ears at base of) of stem leaves pointed; Glabrous exc. for flower heads; throughout lowland Br

Sonchus palustris . . . . Marsh Sow-thistle

Local in the SE; a tall plant with narrow stem leaves, and pointed auricles (Pics C. Hutchinson)

Tanacetum . . . . . Tansies


Tanacetum macrophyllum . . . . Rayed Tansy

Very scattered in En and Sc

Tanacetum parthenium . . . . Feverfew

Naturalised on waste ground and waysides throughout BI

Tanacetum vulgare . . . . Tansy

Frequent in grassy places and rough ground

Taraxacum . . . . . Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale agg. . . . . Dandelion

Many microspecies are found in this aggregate are not separated here - perhaps best termed Taraxacum agg.

Tephroseris . . . . . Fleawort

Tephroseris integrifolia (subsp. integrifolia) . . . . South Stack Fleawort

Rare - (with pink Armeria maritima flowers!)

Can be confused with -
Ragworts: . . and Golden-rod:

Tragopogon . . . . . Goat's-beard

Tragopogon pratensis . . . . Goat's-beard


Tragopogon porrifolius . . . . Salsify

Casual on waste ground

Tripleurospermum . . . . . Mayweeds

Fruits with three ribs (cf. Matricaria which have 4-5 ridges)

It is difficult to tell T. inodorum and T. maritimum apart - T. maritimum (on R) has fleshy cylindrical leaves; fruits with 3 touching ribs on one side and elongated oil glands on the other, while T. inodorum (on L) fruits with granular gap between ridges and roundish oil glands:

Tripleurospermum inodorum. . . . Scentless Mayweed

Very similar to the below, but found away from the sea and with non-fleshy leaves, often bristle-tipped; Widespread as arable weed

Tripleurospermum maritimum . . . Sea Mayweed

Very similar to the above, but generally restricted to very close to the sea; leaves tend to be more succulent with round tips

See also:


Tussilago . . . . . Colt's-foot

Tussilago farfara . . . . Colt's-foot