Senecio elegans L.

Purple Groundsel

Sp. Pl. 869 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Glabrous or (on young growth) weakly pubescent, simple to much-branched erect annual, 20–100 cm high; branches thick and more or less hollow. Leaves sessile or pseudopetiolate, auriculate at base, c. ovate in outline 3–15 cm long, 1.5–5 cm wide, pinnatisect, with lobes dilated and toothed near apex; petiole c. 1–4 cm long. Inflorescence corymbose, each corymb usually with 1–6 capitula per branch and c. 3–7 cm diam., but these sometimes compounding; capitula radiate; involucre c. cup-shaped, 7–8 mm long; bracts 12–15, prominently black-tipped; bracteoles present. Ray florets 12–17(rarely doubled), rich purple (rarely white), ligules 7–10 mm long; disc florets 40 or more, yellow. Cypselas 2–2.5 mm long, pale brown, ribbed, papillose hairy in intervening grooves; pappus of slender white hairs 6–7 mm long, deciduous. Flowers Sep.–Jan.

*Brid, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW (LHI), Tas.,. Native to South Africa. Also naturalised New Zealand. Locally common on dunes and swales fringing ocean beaches, from the South Australian border to Corner Inlet.

Apparent hybrids with Senecio pinnatifolius have been reported from near Portland and on Wilsons Promontory. Such plants have more narrowly lobed or subentire leaves, and pale mauve- or whitish-rayed capitula.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1999). Senecio. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-04-08
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Senecio
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Senecio elegans in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Senecio elegans in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales