Desert Groundsel - Senecio eremophilus
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from at least 5 occurrences, including two historical collections. Little data are available for this species in Montana. More information is needed. May be more common than collections indicate.
Desert Groundsel is a short-lived, glabrous, perennial herb with a solitary stem that is 3-12 dm high and arising from a short taproot. The lowest leaves are inconspicuous, while the others are alternate and little reduced upwards. Each leaf has a short petiole and a lance-shaped blade that is 4-15 cm long with deeply lobed and coarsely toothed margins. Numerous flower heads are borne in an open, flat-topped, terminal inflorescence. The heads have a single series of ca. 13 non-overlapping, narrow, pointed, minutely black-tipped involucral bracts that are 7-9 mm long. The ca. 40 disk flowers are yellow, and the ca. 8 yellow rays are 6-10 mm long. The achene has a pappus at its summit.
Our plants are variety eremophilus.
Flowering in late June.
Senecio is a large genus, and a technical manual should be consulted for positive identification.
AK to QC south to AZ, NM and SD (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Moist streambanks and riparian forests in the valley and montane zones.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius
, Bombus flavifrons
, Bombus frigidus
, Bombus huntii
, Bombus melanopygus
, Bombus mixtus
, Bombus sylvicola
, Bombus occidentalis
, Bombus insularis
, Bombus suckleyi
, Bombus flavidus
, and Bombus kirbiellus
(Schmitt 1980, Thorp et al. 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Wilson et al. 2010, Pyke et al. 2012, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Mayer, D.F., E.R. Miliczky, B.F. Finnigan, and C.A. Johnson. 2000. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of southeastern Washington. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 97: 25-31.
- Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
- Schmitt, J. 1980. Pollinator foraging behavior and gene dispersal in Senecio (Compositae). Evolution 34: 934-943.
- Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
- Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
- Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.