Weed of the month: Ragwort

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Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is identified as a high priority weed for the southern region.

It is a familiar pasture and roadside weed throughout the higher rainfall parts of the region and has been the subject of a high profile awareness and control campaign in the Huon Valley and Kingborough Council areas recently. 

Ragwort is an economically significant competitor of pastures and is poisonous to livestock when eaten. 

ragwort-thumb.jpgRagwort is a biennial herb with spectacular yellow flower heads in mid-summer: seeds germinate in the cooler months and develop a rosette in their first year, then flower and die in the second.

Ragwort may develop a perennial habit in response to disturbance, however. Ragwort is highly visible in southern Tasmania this month. This weed can be confused with a number of native Senecio species, but most are taller than ragwort, with smaller, looser flower heads.

The leaves of Ragwort are markedly different to other Senecio species. Refer to the DPIW service sheet for detailed identification information. 

A diverse range of control options is available for Rawgort, and it is one weed which has been subject to a highly successful biological control program in Tasmania.  

Please note that as with many pasture weeds, the ideal time for herbicide control is at seedling or rosette stage, rather than when the plant is conspicuous at flowering time.

Plan now for control in autumn and spring.

Consult the DPIW service sheet for detailed information on controlling Ragwort.