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Packera aurea (Golden groundsel) | NPIN
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Packera aurea (Golden groundsel)
Bruso, George H.

Packera aurea

Golden groundsel, Golden ragwort, Butterweed

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

USDA Symbol: paau3

USDA Native Status:

Golden groundselís stout, thick, basal offshoots creep horizontally and send up erect flowering stems 1-3 ft. in height. Flowers are deep golden-yellow, daisy-like and showy. Heart-shaped basal leaves are dark-green above and purple beneath. The stem leaves are lobed. The roots colonize and the plant can achieve a groundcover effect over time.

Of the 16 species in eastern North America, an upland forest species, Squaw Weed (P. obovata), has spatulate leaves tapering at the base. Westward, on dry bluffs and prairies, Prairie Ragwort (P. plattensis) has basal leaves woolly on the underside. Woolly Ragwort (P. tomentosa), found in open woods and fields along the coastal plain from New Jersey to Texas, has long, narrow, woolly basal leaves, especially when young.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Inflorescence: Head
Size Notes: Leaves to 4 inches. Flowers on 2 to 3 foot stalks.
Leaf: Green above, purplish below
Flower: Flower 1 inch across
Fruit: White
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Quebec to GA, w. to MN & LA. Eastern North America, Zones 3 to 9
Native Habitat: Meadows; boggy swales; low woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rich, acidic soils.
Conditions Comments: Prefers moisture but also found growing in dryish areas. Tolerates seasonal flooding.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: When planted en masse, can lend a golden glow to the spring woodland landscape.
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract bees.
Use Medicinal: Root and leaf tea used by Amerindians to treat delayed and irregular menses, childbirth complications, lung ailments, dysentery, difficult urination. (Foster & Duke) Toxic! Tea made of whole plant used for problems associated with the female reproductive tract and to speed childbirth. Substitute for ergot. (Weiner)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Leaves, but only low toxicity if touched or ingested. Symptoms include liver toxicity, skin irritation following contact. Toxic Principle: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Propagation

Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Divide golden ragwort in the spring.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require 45 days cool-moist stratification. After stratification the seeds should be incubated at 70-80 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: For neatness, cut seed stalks to base after seed dispersal.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1207 - Earth Medicine, Earth Food (1990) Michael A. Weiner
Bibref 417 - Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America (2000) Foster, S. & J. A. Duke
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Packera aurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Packera aurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Packera aurea

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-11-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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