Groundsel , the common name of senecio vulgaris, of the natural order compositoe. It is a little, weedy plant, found in waste places and in gardens from New England to Pennsylvania, adventitiously introduced from abroad. The name groundsel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for "ground glutton," probably in allusion to its character as a weed. It is an inconspicuous annual, and not difficult to keep in subjection. Its seeds are a favorite food of many small birds, and the flower heads are sometimes gathered for the purpose of feeding canary birds. Groundsel has no ray flowers, but in our native senecios the heads are mostly radiate and showy. Among the commonest of these is the golden ragroot (S. aureus), an elegant ornament of our wet meadows; and in the greenhouse the rich purple blossoms of S. elegans are much admired. The fireweed, so conspicuous upon recently burnt lands for its coarse rank growth and white silky heads, was formerly called a senecio, but is now put in a separate genus, and is erechthites hieracifo-lia (Raf.). Senecios are found in every part of the globe, especially in South Africa. Humboldt noticed some species in the upper regions of the Andes, just below the snow line.

De Candolle describes nearly 600 species, of which 50 or more are natives of North America.