Information on Sticky Groundsel

Common Name: Sticky Groundsel
Scientific Name: Senecio viscosus
Irish Name: Grúnlas greamaitheach
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Sticky Groundsel could sometimes be confused with:

Groundsel, Groundsel, Heath,

An introduced species, Sticky Groundsel seems to grow on railway lines in particular and is relatively common in such habitat in the N.East and S.East of Ireland. It grows to 65cm high, carrying open clusters of 12mm-long flower-heads on robust upright stems. The flowers have yellow disc florets and ray florets which curl downwards. Behind the flowers are long bracts which are not black-tipped (unlike Groundsel); the outer bracts are half the length of the inner bracts.  There is a pungent aroma from the flowers which bloom from July to September. The deeply pinnate, lobed leaves are sticky, as is the whole plant which is covered in dense, glandular hairs, often being also covered in light, wind-blown debris. It is also found in sandy soils and disturbed ground. The hairless seeds are in a pappus. An annual, Sticky Groundsel belongs to the Asteraceae or Daisy family. 

I first saw and photographed this species near Campile, Co Wexford in August 2013. I was shown it by botanical recorder, Paula O’Meara, to whom I am most grateful. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Groundsel, Sticky
Groundsel, Sticky

Sticky Groundsel was first recorded in the British Isles in the 17th century, having originated in the Alps.