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Ragwort is a member of the daisy family. It is an erect, annual to perennial herb and usually grows to 45-70cm tall, but can reach 1.6 metres. It has reddish-purple stems and wrinkled, divided leaves, which are dark green on top with a downy lining. Leaves appear in a rosette that grows into a dense cluster. Its flowers are bright yellow, and appear in clusters. Downy (fluffy), parachute-like seeds are present.
Ragwort prefers areas of open space with some area of bare ground for seeds to germinate on, particularly in high rainfall areas. It will invade open forests, riverbeds, swamps, pastures and coastal areas. It also tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, except for shade. Especially abundant in areas of higher rainfall. A well-known pest on dairy farms. Densities of this species have steadily declined in Northland since the introduction of a boiological control, the flea beetle. As such, this species is no longer a significant threat on most properties.
An aggressive, prolific flowering plant that will rapidly colonise in exposed areas, i.e. paddocks. Matures quickly, reduces the productivity of the land and may out-compete native plant seedlings.
Always ensure plant is ragwort before treating.