Senecio elegans

Purple groundsel

Family: Asteraceae

Origin: South Africa

A cluster of purple groundsel in the sand.
A daisy from South Africa that can grow up to 60cm tall. An annual plant that will germinate, flower and set seed all within one year.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Aotea — Progressive containment
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Annual herb < 60 cm tall. Leaves are deeply lobed and < 8 cm long. Flowers have purple/pink ray florets and yellow discs and are borne in August – May. Achenes are < 3 mm long and bear pappus < 8 mm long.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell purple groundsel on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • You must not plant purple groundsel on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Auckland Council will manage purple groundsel at all sites within the Aotea/Great Barrier Island group where it is known to occur.

If you see purple groundsel anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at


Sand dunes, coastal habitat, gravel.


Seeds dispersed by wind.

Impact on environment

Likely to outcompete native vegetation, particularly in dune ecosystems.


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 if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L 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.

Purple groundsel flowers.
Produces distinctive pink daisy-shaped flowers with yellow centres. Easy to hand pull to prevent from setting seed.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow