Senecio Aureus, aka Golden Ragwort, is an attractive and easy to grow wildflower native to the meadows, bogs, and woods of North America. It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Senecio Aureus (sen-ek-ee-o Aw-re-us), the original scientific name, is now Packera Aureus (Pak-er-uh Aw-re-us). This hardy perennial wildflower is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae).
Other Senecio’s include:
- Senecio repens (mini bluechalk)
- Senecio herreianus (String of Tears)
- Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls plant)
Senecio Aureus Care
The following are details of the Senecio Aureus, ways to care for it, and its different uses:
Size and Growth
Senecio Aureus proliferates in sunny to shady areas with relatively damp soil. But it can also tolerate dry periods.
The plant’s structure consists of tall stems up to 3′ feet tall with lobed stem leaves that are green on top and purple underneath.
Flowering and Fragrance
This garden plant produces yellow flowers featuring disc and ray florets. Under the right conditions, the yellow daisy-like flowers of the Golden Ragwort can create a groundcover effect in the spring garden since it grows so well.
With the Golden Ragwort and other flowers in the Aster family, each flower’s petals and disc components are flowers themselves. This increases their propagation.
Though it contains little scent, each ray petal consists of a tubular base and a flattened belt-like body.
Light and Temperature
Golden Ragwort flourishes when temperatures are warmer, blooming between May and July.
Senecio Aureus grows well in partial shade but can tolerate full sun too.
Watering and Feeding
Like many other wildflowers, Senecio Aureus is a sturdy, low-maintenance plant. Watering is unnecessary once established unless the soil is dry too long.
As long as your outside soil is healthy, that is enough for the Golden Ragwort to thrive.
To use your Senecio Aureus to cover a large area or stretch across your woodline or other borders
- Check the soil for adequate moisture and
- Transplant root clumps where you’d like to see them grow
Soil and Transplanting
Senecio Aureus grows well in moist, rich soil, such as areas in the Appalachian mountain region.
It can tolerate soil with moderate to low drainage ability, making it a superb choice for areas that may become waterlogged.
Once established, transplant Golden Ragwort as desired by dividing it at the roots. Leave some in their original place, and move parts to new locations to propagate further.
Via this method, seeding, or self-seeding, meadow areas spread quickly with Senecio Aureus flowers.
The abundance of Golden Ragwort in a particular area is a good indicator of soil health. Low soil quality will not sustain this wildflower. It is also quickly overtaken by weeds.
Grooming and Maintenance
Senecio Aureus is very easy to maintain. Because the plant self-seeds and bundles at the root, the only care it may need is to cut it down after it has self-seeded.
Unless you live in an area that’s prone to repeat dry spells, you shouldn’t need to water Senecio Aureus.
This plant grows best in mid-West to Eastern portions of North America, where precipitation levels are higher.
Senecio Aureus are very good nectar plants attracting pollinators thanks to its many flower heads in one place. Many bee varieties, including carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and halictid bees, flock to this attractive spring flower.
How to Propagate Senecio Aureus
Senecio Aureus is a perennial that grows via a colonizing root system. It reproduces quickly and self-seeds yearly.
Senecio Aureus can be grown from seed or via root division. Divide the roots of this plant when it flowers in the spring, and propagate them wherever you please.
Senecio Aureus Pests or Diseases
Senecio Aureus has no significant disease or pest concerns.
Senecio Aureus Uses
Senecio Aureus is a popular choice for decoration because of its springtime bloom period. Most Aster family composite flowers bloom during the summer to fall time.
Use it in addition to your summer and fall bloomers to provide a continuous ribbon of color outside throughout the growing season.
Besides ornamental use, Golden Ragwort offers many medicinal benefits. Native Americans and European settlers are both reported to have used it in teas or salves to help treat a variety of problems such as:
- Urinary/kidney problems
- Lung disease
- High blood pressure
- Water retention
- Chest congestion
- Painful childbirth
- Menstrual cramps
- Heart trouble
- Bone breaks
Grow the Senecio Aureus from seed or root bundles and transplant them during the spring season. Locate Senecio Aureus in partial shade to full sun with rich, moist soil.
This wildflower will continue to please you with its enduring growing ability and beautiful blooms.