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Common RAGWORT : Senecio jacobaea

The Wildlife Trusts open with a comment of plus and negative aspects. A renowned 'weed' of paddocks, pastures and waste ground, the yellow flower heads of common ragwort are actually highly attractive to bees and other insects, including the cinnabar moth.

This is a very attractive plant that adds much yellow to  our environment just when many others are losing theirs. The daisy-like, yellow flower heads of common ragwort may be pretty enough to the casual observer, but they belie the poisonous nature of this plant. Renowned as a weed of paddocks and pastures, where it can be harmful to livestock, it is not usually such an issue in gardens or on waste ground.

Common ragwort is one of the most frequently visited flowers by butterflies in the UK and more than 200 species of invertebrate have been recorded on it. So the bugs and the butterflies like it, but it has a nasty side. As the Countryfile website notes : Ragwort is one of the most divisive plants in the countryside. It contains chemicals that are toxic to livestock and has been blamed for many deaths of horses and other animals. 

These plants rise during early June and have rather distinctive leafs.

Tight fisted flower bases start to thrust forth yellow crowns.

And then clusters of little golden crowns appear. These develop into full star shaped flowers.

By late June we see masses of these yellow stars.

COUNTRYFILE : https://www.countryfile.com/wildlife/trees-plants/ragwort-guide-what-is-ragwort-is-ragwort-dangerous/

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/common-ragwort

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