Senecios come in many forms, and this month we are featuring both a goody and a baddy. Both have clusters of yellow flowers over summer. However, those of the scented groundsel (our goody) don’t have a disc of long petals; the flowers tend to form tubes with a ‘fluff’ of short (4-6mm) petals on top. Also, the leaf shape and colour is very different in our two Senecios. The dull grey-green leaves of the native scented groundsel, Senecio odoratus, are oval-shaped, with a very distinctive vein down the centre. They are quite firm. The edges have fine teeth at the edge (whereas the South African daisy, Senecio pterophorus has larger indentations on the edges). The top of the leaf is fairly hairless, but the back looks like it is covered with fine cobwebs. Where the leaf clasps the stem, the leaf curls in on itself a bit.
The scented groundsel makes a good host plant for the endangered native parasitic plant Orobanche cernua var. australiana (see plant of the month, Jan 2017).