Senecio latifolius DC.

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Senecio latifolius

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba rd, nr Eagle School rd junction

Senecio latifolius

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba rd, nr Eagle School rd junction

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Senecio sceleratus Schweick.
Common names: Noxious ragwort (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Erect herb, growing annual stems from a perennial rootstock. It belongs to a group of closely related species, including S. venosus, S. retrorsus and S. pergamentaceus. All are erect perennial plants with glaucous, elliptic leaves, which clasp around the stem. S. latifolius lacks the clear translucent veining when held against the light.
Notes: The new shoots appear after winter when grass cover is short and it is therefore likely to be grazed by lifestock. This can have serious consequences as the plants contain a cumulative poison, which has proven deadly to cattle and horses. The toxin is a pyrrolizidine alkaloid which cause acute or chronic liver toxicity resulting in necrosis and cirrhosis (chronic cases) of the liver. The disease condition is known as seneciosis, or Molteno straining disease in cattle, while in horses it is often called 'dunsiekte' (slim disease).
Source: Roy Wakefield.
Derivation of specific name: latifolius: broad-leaved
Habitat: A plant of montane grassland and vlei margins, often on overgrazed or burned ground.
Altitude range: (metres) Above 1100 m
Flowering time:Sep - Feb
Worldwide distribution:
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 8 September 2007

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 214. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 168 - 169. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 105.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 50.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 147. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 28.

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 149, plate 192

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 38.

Shone, D.K. & Drummond, R.B. (1965). Poisonous Plants of Rhodesia Ministry of Agriculture, Rhodesia Pages 14 - 17. as Senecio scleratus (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 57.

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 74. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 89.

Other sources of information about Senecio latifolius:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Senecio latifolius
Flora of Malawi: Senecio latifolius
Flora of Mozambique: Senecio latifolius
Flora of Zambia: Senecio latifolius

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Senecio latifolius
African Plant Database: Senecio latifolius
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Senecio latifolius
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Senecio latifolius
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Senecio latifolius
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Senecio latifolius
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Senecio latifolius
JSTOR Plant Science: Senecio latifolius
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Senecio latifolius
Plants of the World Online: Senecio latifolius
Tropicos: Senecio latifolius
Wikipedia: Senecio latifolius

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Senecio latifolius., retrieved 29 September 2023

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