Grassland Weed ID please

Use this forum for identification of plants and flowers found in the UK. To allow us to help provide accurate identification we need clear pictures of the whole plant, where it is growing and close up pictures of flowers, buds or seed heads if any available. It would also be useful to see pictures showing the leaf attached to the stem.
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lewis25
Posts: 2
Joined: 30 May 2019, 19:01

Grassland Weed ID please

Post by lewis25 » 30 May 2019, 19:30

Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone could please identify this paddock weed. I think it is ragwort but it looks a bit different?

Many Thanks in advance
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Nina
Posts: 710
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Grassland Weed ID please

Post by Nina » 30 May 2019, 23:24

Hi and thanks for contacting us. This is proving to be a little difficult, and we've been having lots of discussion about it this evening. Although it could well be (and probably is) one of the Ragworts, there are certain features that we aren't sure about. The leaves are very downy/fuzzy and most Ragworts don't have downy leaves, but it might be Hoary Ragwort (Senecio erucifolius). Also the leaves of various species of Ragwort can vary a lot, even on one plant (with the upper leaves being more sharply divided than the lower leaves in the rosette). Would it be possible to wait a week or two and send us a photo of the plant in flower? Or if there are flower stalks with buds on it now that would help a lot (but a photo of the flowers would be best).

Just another thought though -- If these plants are actually in a paddock and there are horses in that paddock, then if they are Ragwort they should be removed immediately as it is a highly toxic plant, and each year several horses die from eating Ragwort.

I'm sorry that we haven't been able to quickly ID this plant for you, but we wanted to be really sure and although it is most likely one of the Ragworts a photo of a flower will be more conclusive.

Nina

lewis25
Posts: 2
Joined: 30 May 2019, 19:01

Re: Grassland Weed ID please

Post by lewis25 » 31 May 2019, 08:47

Hi Nina,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. Not to worry no horses are on this paddock. I will wait a few weeks then update this thread. I did wonder if it is a rough poppy (Papaver hybridum)? Anyway I will leave for a few weeks and upload a new photo. Thanks so much for your help so far.

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Nina
Posts: 710
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Grassland Weed ID please

Post by Nina » 31 May 2019, 09:44

Ooh, that's an interesting idea. I think the leaves of Papaver hybridum are more sharply divided, but I'll look again. As soon as it thows up a flower stalk we will know!

Nina

Pete28
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Joined: 14 Oct 2018, 22:33

Re: Grassland Weed ID please

Post by Pete28 » 07 Jun 2019, 16:03

A little late I know but if it hasn't been identified yet. It definitely has the ragweed look to it but it also bears resemblance to common tansy.

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Nina
Posts: 710
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Grassland Weed ID please

Post by Nina » 07 Jun 2019, 22:01

Well, Pete, you have just made this discussion more interesting! We were talking about Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), not Ragweed (Ambrosia spp.). Ragwort is a very common and very toxic plant in the UK and each year deaths of horses that have eaten it are reported. I'm not sure if it grows in the USA.

I know that you live in the States, Pete, where Ragweed is a very common plant (and the plant in question does look a bit like Ragweed), but Ragweed is relatively rare over here . In fact it didn't even appear in Europe until the 1960s, and wasn't in England until relatively recently, because it can't survive our cooler climate. However with the warmer weather we've been having over the last few years scientists have detected Ragweed pollen in the air at various times and so the plant has definitely got its hold in the UK. For UK people who don't know about Ragweed, it is the cause of over half the cases of pollen-related allergies like Hay Fever in the USA, and one plant can produce over a billion grains of pollen during a season. So that is not good news for us!

Re the common Tansy -- yes, it does bear a resemblance to that too. The common Tansy is also toxic (containing a substance that can cause convulsions), and to confuse things even more, there is a variety of Ragwort called Ragwort Tansy! Aren't plants confusing!

Can't wait to see those photos of a flower now, as we have quite a few candidates lined up!

Nina

Pete28
Posts: 22
Joined: 14 Oct 2018, 22:33

Re: Grassland Weed ID please

Post by Pete28 » 14 Jun 2019, 23:34

Nina this forum is always refreshing and a wealth of knowledge. I had no idea that the ragweed was such an issue over there. Thank you so much for the information. I'm looking forward to seeing it flower.

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