Roldana petasitis syn. Senecio petasitis

Velvet groundsel

Family: Asteraceae

Origin: South Africa

Close up of Velvet Groundsel flowers.
Velvet groundsel bears masses of yellow flowers between winter and spring. Seeds have wings and are dispersed by the wind.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial shrub < 2 m tall. Leaves are large, < 20 cm in diameter, rounded, toothed and hairy, with pale undersides. Flowers are yellow, daisy-like and borne in large clusters in winter – spring. Seeds bear a winged pappus.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell velvet groundsel within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant velvet groundsel within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any velvet groundsel on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Scrub, open forest, roadsides, grassy banks, wetlands, coastal habitats.


Seeds dispersed by wind. Vegetative spread from stem layering. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Dense growth excludes other plant species and may alter plant community composition and structure. Poisonous if ingested and contact may cause skin irritation.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel. Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 250ml glyphosate green per 1 L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

For infestations amongst desirable species: Foliar spray with 40ml clopyralid per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant (not for use in home gardens).

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Velvet grounsel shrub in flower.
Velvet groundsel is a perennial shrub that can grow up to 2m tall. Leaves are very large and rounded with toothed edges up to 20cm in diameter.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow