What is ragwort?(Senecio jacobaea)
- Ragwort is a serious pasture weed.
- Ragwort is a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of ragwort are prohibited in Tasmania.
How to identify ragwort
- Ragwort lives
for two years if left undisturbed. Most seed germination occurs in
autumn, and the plant forms a rosette (in its first year a cluster of
leaves close to the ground), and in its second year an erect plant up to
1.5 m in height with convoluted dark green leaves and bright yellow
flowers. The flowers are formed at the end of small branchlets resulting
in a characteristic flat-topped flower arrangement.
growing in pasture, ragwort often lives for more than 2 years due to
damage to the plant from stock hooves, grazing and cutting. When plants
are damaged, new shoots are produced from the original stem or from
larger roots left in the ground. These damaged plants can produce large
bushes of many flowering stems, and flower multiple times over several
- For help in identifying ragwort, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora database.
If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact
your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.
Image top: Ragwort rosette, photo: D. Elliott.
Images above, left to right: Paddock infested with ragwort, photo: S. Leighton; Flowering ragwort, photo: T. Rudman.
Ragwort in Tasmania
- Ragwort is widely
distributed throughout the grazing areas of Tasmania, with the exception
of the Midlands where it occurs only in small patches (see map).
Ragwort also occurs on the shores of several lakes on the Central
Plateau, and along roadsides in many areas of the state. The heaviest
infestations occur on poorly managed pastures.
- Ragwort is a
serious pasture weed in Tasmania. Ragwort plants are extremely
competitive, and competition from ragwort causes a significant reduction
in pasture production. Ragwort is also poisonous to most types of
livestock. Stock losses due to ragwort poisoning can occur where stock
are forced to graze ragwort due to food shortages.
What is the legal status of ragwort in your area?Detailed management and control guidelines for ragwort can be found in the Ragwort Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Ragwort Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Useful Resources: Weeds.
Ragwort Control Guide
Herbicides for Ragwort Control
Statutory Management Plan for Ragwort
Weed links and resources
Other useful links
To the extent
permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks,
Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants)
excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but
not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other
compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or
material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.