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Packera paupercula (Balsam groundsel)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Packera paupercula

Packera paupercula (Michx.) Á. Löve & D. Löve

Balsam Groundsel, Northern Ragwort

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Senecio balsamitae, Senecio crawfordii, Senecio gaspensis, Senecio gaspensis var. firmifolius, Senecio pauperculus, Senecio pauperculus var. balsamitae, Senecio pauperculus var. crawfordii, Senecio pauperculus var. firmifolius, Senecio pauperculus var. neoscoticus, Senecio pauperculus var. praelongus, Senecio pauperculus var. thompsoniensis, Senecio tweedyi

USDA Symbol: PAPA20

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A perennial with stalked and toothed, basal leaves subtending a 1-2 ft. flowering stem. A spreading clusters of flower heads occurs at the apex of the stem. Flowers are aster-like with yellowish rays and centers.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AK , AL , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , NU , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: N.S. to Alt., s. to MD, NC mts., SD & ID
Native Habitat: Basic or calcareous ledges or gravels

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Neutral or basic gravels.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


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.)
Fragrant Flowers: yes


Description: Lightly scented blooms. (Ontario Native Plants 2002)
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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