Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) is a common broadleaf weed that can be found in all 50 states and is considered native to many other parts of the world. This plant is very hardy and is frost resistant. It can be found in a wide range of different landscapes and is prolific in both open fields and on lawns.
This weed is a medium-sized herbaceous annual that reaches up to 16 inches in height. It is bright green with a long stem. The leaves of the plant lack their own stems and are attached to the main stem. They are jagged in nature and have fine hairs on the back sides of the leaves. The flowers of the plant form in open clusters and turn yellow when they bloom. When the plant goes to seed, it forms a fluffy downy like a seed cluster, which is white in nature. When blown by the wind, these seeds float in the air and can land very far from the parent plant. This can cause groundsel to quickly spread over a large area of your property, in just one growing season.
Controlling groundsel is the only way to keep it at bay. Proper lawn maintenance, such as mowing will keep the plant from shading out grasses and other plants. But this method may also spread the seeds causing future problems. Broadleaf weed control products can be used to treat the plant by directly spraying the solution onto the plant itself. If a large area of your property has been taken over by groundsel, it is a wise idea to seek help from a professional lawn care service. It can be a hard weed to get rid of once it has established itself. Groundsel can also harbor harmful fungus, that may infect other plants. Those who garden are at particular risk.