Senecio phelleus

Slender Fireweed

Erect annual or biennial herb with fleshy roots, branching along stem. Stems sparsely to moderately cottony, becoming sparser up the stem.

Additional information

  • SynonymSeparated from Senecio tenuiflorus which does not occur in Victoria.
  • FamilyAsteraceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size0.3-1.5 m high
  • Plant groupingHerbs & Groundcovers <1m
  • LeavesLeaves coarsely hairy above 6-17 cm x 3.6-20 mm, purplish, cobwebby below; lower leaves arrow-shaped with basal lobes pointed down, stem-clasping, sparsely toothed; upper - smaller, narrower, some coarse hairs, cobwebby below.
  • Flower colourYellowish
  • Flowering timeOctober to March
  • FlowersTerminal cluster of 20-100 small narrow rayless daisy flowerheads, bracts green. Seeds are not beaked.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingFood plant for caterpillars
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist well drained to dryish clay soils, often in rocky areas in heathlands and drier forests of the foothills. Full sun to dappled shade.
  • Garden useUnderstorey plant which is not very obvious in the bush. Purple under leaves adds interest and is easily recognisable.
  • Commercially availableNever
  • Conservation statusLocally common within its preferred growing conditions. Restricted distribution.
  • Related speciesPreviously confused with Senecio tenuiflorus and Senecio quadridentatus. Differs in having a smaller taproot, arrow-shaped leaves, lower stem area has cottony covering and more florets per flowerhead.
Photographer/s: 1 Chris Lindorff, NatureShare ©; 2, 3 Marilyn Bull ©

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