If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

19 July, 2010

Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)

Another species from the natural world we love to hate. Ragwort pulling is an autumn preoccupation around farms and nature reserves.

Common Ragwort presents us with two problems. Firstly it is poisonous to cattle and horses and so there is always a risk if these animals are around the plant. In reality, it seems to me cattle eat everything around the Ragwort and leave the Ragwort well alone.

The other problem is its capacity to set seeds and spread. It is a prolific plant and in some years it can be more abundant that others but it is always abundant! You can find it on waste ground, hedgerows, pastures, dunes, downland; just about anywhere, especially if the ground is regularly disturbed or the general vegetation is sparse.

Hated by humans it may be but it is adored by insects and is another plant worth closely watching if you like insects.