Holly-Leaved Senecio

Also known as:
Pink Ragwort
South Africa

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.

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.

Similar species

purple groundsel
Senecio elegans

Purple groundsel is annual rather than perennial and has petioles (leaf stem)

RPMP status

Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Holly-leaved senecio - Main species image