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Packera glabella (Butterweed)
Moore, April

Packera glabella

Packera glabella (Poir.) C. Jeffrey

Butterweed, Cress-leaf Groundsel, Yellowtop

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Senecio glabellus, Senecio lobatus

USDA Symbol: pagl17

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

An upright, smooth, succulent annual, 8-28 in. high. Stout stems may be branched or unbranched and are topped by a large cluster of yellow, daisy-like flowers. Interesting leaves are deeply divided in rounded segments or lobes and become smaller toward the upper portion of the plant. Usually forms large colonies in the moist-to-wet habitat it prefers.

Though an annual, Packera glabella usually seeds out so densely that it achieves the same groundcover effect as many of the perennial Packera species. Unlike some of those better known perennials, this species can bloom in either sun or shade, as long as it is situated in a moist site. The leaves emerge in the fall and add low winter green to the landscape. Blooms are profuse, filling its colonies with yellow throughout the spring months.


From the Image Gallery

23 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 28 inches tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NE , OH , OK , SC , SD , TN , TX
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Ontario, NC, OH, s. IL, MO, s.w. IA & s.e. NE, s. to FL, TX & e. KS
Native Habitat: Damp, open woods; swampy grasslands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, alluvial soils.
Conditions Comments: As long as soil is at least moist, can grow in shade or sun.


Use Ornamental: Provides dense, yellow, spring blooms to wet sites throughout its range.
Use Wildlife: Attracts bees and butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Allow to self-sow for continuous populations each year.

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.


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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