Senecio glastifolius

Holly-leaved senecio

Also known as:

Pink ragwort

Family: Asteraceae

Origin: South Africa

Holly Leaved Senecio in flower.
Also known as pink ragwort. A pasture weed that has escaped from cottage gardens.
Photo credit: Weedbusters

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

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

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Erect perennial herb < 2 m high. Stems are woody at base. Leaves are < 15 x 2.5 cm and serrated. Flowers are daisy-like, pink/purple with a yellow centre, and borne in September – November.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2021, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell holly-leaved senecio within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant holly-leaved senecio within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any holly-leaved senecio 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.


Disturbed sites, dunes, herbfields, shrubland, cliffs, rocky banks, roadsides, hillsides, forest and riparian margins.


Seeds dispersed by wind. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Displaces small-stature native plant species in a range of coastal native habitats.


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: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

For infestations amongst desirable species: Foliar spray with 10ml 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.

Holly Leaved Senecio flowers and fluffy seed heads.
Seeds are prolific and occur across the spring summer months. Seeds are borne on white fluff.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Large Holly Leaved Senecio in flower.
Seeds are dispersed by wind. Flowers are pink/purple with a yellow centre.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Holly Leaved Senecio flower buds.
A herb with woody stems, mature plants grow to up to 2m tall. Flowers between September and November.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Flowering Holly Leaved Senecio in garden.
Displaces native plants that are small and slower growing. A common weed in some coastal areas.
Holly Leaved Senecio with white flowers.
Hardy weed that can grown in dry or wet areas. Pungent smelling stems when crushed.