[Butterweeds and Groundsels: The Genera Packera and Senecio East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel

Packera cana

Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

The photo above shows woolly butterweed as seen on slopes near the summit of Simcoe Butte in northern Klickitat County, south-central Washington.......June 16, 2007.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)The photo at right shows woolly butterweed as seen from alongside US 26 east of Mitchell, OR........June 23, 1995.
Characteristics:

Woolly butterweed is a fairly easy butterweed to identify due to its dry habitat and the silvery coloration of the leaves and stems. It is an erect, several-stemmed perennial from 10 to 40 cm in height. It is fairly strongly white-tomentose, although this may be reduced with age. The basal and lower stem leaves are tufted and are narrowly oblanceolate to broadly elliptic or subovate in shape. Individual leaf blades range from 1 to 7 cm in length and 4 - 30 mm wide and have varied petioles, from short to long. The stem leaves are linear or oblong in shape with toothed to pinnatifid margins. The upper leaves are reduced in size and become almost bract-like.

The heads are several and sunflower-like, arranged in compound corymb. Both the ray and disc flowers are yellow. Each of the 6-10 individual rays are about 6 - 13 mm long. The involucres are 6-8 mm tall with approximately 15 fleshy bracts.


Habitat:

Woolly butterweed is found in arid, open and often rocky or sandy places from the sagebrush plains and foothills to well above timberline in the mountains.


Range:

Woolly butterweed is widespread east of the Cascades from British Columbia east to Saskatchewan and south to Nebraska, Colorado, and California.


Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus) - Involucral bracts of Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus) - Flower head of Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

The 3 photos above show close-up views of a rayless woolly butterweed, the scurfy-haired involucre, and a flower head of woolly butterweed as seen near the summit of Simcoe Butte in northern Klickitat County, south-central Washington.........June 16. 2007. (Click each of the 3 photos to see an enlarged verson.) The photo below shows a close-up of the dorsal surface of a basal leaf blade.

Dorsal surface of a leaf of Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)


Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus) - Habitat of Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly groundsel blooming along the South Loop Road about one mile downhill to the west from the East Rim Viewpoint, Steens Mountain.........July 9, 2014.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly groundsel blooming at the Kiger Gorge Overlook, Steens Mountain, Harney County, Oregon........August 31, 2011.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus) - Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly groundsel as seen atop the Steens Mountain summit, Harney County, Oregon.........September 1, 2011.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly groundsel as seen on rock outcrops near the summit of Table Rock, Monument Rock Wilderness.........August 2, 2011.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly groundsel in bloom along the crest of the Steens Mountain at the East Rim Viewpoint..........July 11, 2014.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus) - Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly groundsel blooming on a road cut along Oregon Highway 203 opposite the campground in Catherine Creek State Park, Union County, Oregon......June 10, 2018.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Leaves of woolly groundsel as seen near the summit of Hager Mountain, Fremont National Forest..........May 19, 2016.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Woolly butterweed as seen in sandy, alkaline soils from the southwestern edge of the Lost Forest, Lake County, central Oregon.........June 23, 1998.

Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

The photo above appears to be a woolly butterweed with some toothed leaves, especially on the stems. The photos below are from the same plant, or some found nearby. The plants were photographed on the summit of Dixie Butte, Malheur N.F........July 4, 2002.

Leaves of Tall Butterweed, Woolly Butterweed, Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana (Synonyms: Senecio canus, Senecio convallium, Senecio hallii, Senecio hallii var. discoidea, Senecio harbourii, Senecio howellii, Senecio purshianus)

Leaves from the plant shown directly above. The upper leaf is either a basal leaf or one from the lower stem. The lower leaf is a leaf from higher on the stem.

Paul Slichter