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

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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!

24 October, 2015

Groundsel: the old man of spring

A quick survey of wild flowers in our garden shows that after the tiny hairy bittercress the rather dull groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) is the next most common species. Whilst the bittercress is the one my wife hates the most, for me it has to be groundsel. I am usually pretty positive about most animal and plant species but I am afraid groundsel is just ... irritating. It is that 'pull on site' weed for me!
It is a member of the daisy family although it lacks the white ring of petals, instead having yellow rays a bit like a closed up dandelion. Once they go to seed the flowers certainly look like miniature dandelion clocks. It is variable in height growing anywhere to a foot tall. The leaves are narrow, pointed and have jagged edges. 
Groundel flowers all year round and has many country names, one of which the the old man of spring! It is described as being both tenacious and noxious although not considered

Read more: Groundsel: the old man of spring