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Appalachian Ragwort Packera anonyma

Previously known as:

  • Senecio anonymus
  • Senecio smallii
Phonetic Spelling
PAK-er-uh ah-NON-ah-muh
Description

Small's Ragwort is a native wildflower in the Aster family that is found in a variety of drier habitats in much of the eastern United States, excluding New England. It often flourishes in habitats that are wet during the winter and dry in summer. It can easily be found in all areas of NC and is considered marginally weedy. As one of the first native flowers to bloom in abundance, it is a favorite of the uncommon early-season butterflies (elfins and hairstreaks) and several bees and beetles.It is also a host plant to some moths.

The flowers appear in April and are bright yellow with both ray and disc flowers in clusters up to 100 individual flowers. The basal leaves are serrated and the stem leaves are lobed.

It prefers sandy, well-draining soil and full or partial sun but is adaptable to most soil types. Plants are usually short-lived, so divide older clumps or start new plants from seed. This is a great plant for the edges of a meadow or naturalized area to help feed those early bees and butterflies.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#moths#yellow flowers#native perennials#NC native#deer resistant#naturalized area#poor soils tolerant#food source spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early spring#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#host plant#meadows
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#moths#yellow flowers#native perennials#NC native#deer resistant#naturalized area#poor soils tolerant#food source spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early spring#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#host plant#meadows
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Packera
    Species:
    anonyma
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts a variety of hungry insects, including butterflies, cuckoo bees, Halictid bees, Andrenid bees, Syrphid flies, skippers, and beetles. Host pant to moths. Avoided by most herbivores.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit ellipsoid achenes; pappus a tuft of white bristles
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The ray and disc flowers are both bright yellow and occur in flat-topped clusters with 20-100 individual flowers. There are 8-15 rays per flower. Flowers are 1/2 inch wide. Blooms April to early June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The basal leaves are narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate up to nearly a foot long and taper to long stems. Margins are serrated. The surface is usually glabrous. The stem leaves are alternate and may be sessile or have short stems. They are reduced in size as they go up the stem. Usually pinnately lobed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The ribbed stems are usually glabrous except near the bases and leaf axils where there is some hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy