Syn: Jacobaea erucifolia
Habitat: Senecio erucifolius occurs in Central and southern Europe, including Britain, north to Denmark and Lithuania, east to W. Asia. It grows in dry banks, field borders, grassy slopes and roadsides, in limestone and chalky districts and especially on heavy soils.
Senecio erucifolius is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).Medium to tall, grey downy plant, with a shortly creeping stock bearing terminal leaf rosettes. Stems erect, branched above the middle. Leaves pinnately lobed, the lower stalked and usually present at flowering time. Upper leaves with narrower lobes; all leaves with somewhat down rolled margins and woolly, especially beneath. Flowerheads bright yellow 12 to 15 mm with 12 to 15 rays, borne in a narrow flat topped cluster.It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
We have very little information on the cultivation needs of this plant but, judging by its native habitats, it is likely to require a sunny position and to succeed in most moderate to heavy soils, including those of an alkaline nature.
The plant is used in plasters, ointments and poultices. This species is related to groundsel, S. vulgaris, and is said to have similar properties. These are:- The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity.
Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.