Golden ragwort – a four-season plant

Spring has finally arrived in Kentucky, and instead of ring-around-the-rosy we have a ring of golden ragwort (Senecio obovatus) around our pin oak tree (Quercus palustris). Last spring I planted several plants in the mulched area around the tree and I’ve been surprised at how quickly they filled the entire area.


I was primarily interested in the dark-green basal leaves that provide an attractive evergreen ground cover. However, the bright golden blossoms of spring are certainly an added bonus. I will continue to use golden ragwort as a year-round ground cover that does especially well in dry shade. However, given its tendency to spread, I will be cautious about planting it with other small plants.


At close range, I find the blossoms quite beautiful and think they deserve a nicer-sounding name than ragwort.


When it has finished blooming and begins to look scraggly, I will cut off the flower stalks and continue to enjoy it as a ground cover. Then next spring I’ll look forward to seeing the green turn to gold again.

First spring wildflowers

Spring is a little late in Kentucky this year, and it was great to finally find wildflowers at Natural Bridge State Resort Park this past weekend. I was glad to see small, easily-overlooked spring beauties (Claytonia virginica). A close-up view of their tiny blossoms does indeed reveal their loveliness.


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