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Packera aurea - (L.) Á.Löve & D.Löve

Common Name Golden Groundsel - Life Root, Golden ragwort
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards Possible liver damage due to pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Toxic if taken internally (legally restricted in some countries) [301].
Habitats Rich calcareous woods and bottoms and upland swamps[43]. Damp thickets and prairies[200].
Range Eastern N. America - Newfoundland to Florida, west to Texas.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Packera aurea Golden Groundsel - Life Root, Golden ragwort


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Packera aurea Golden Groundsel - Life Root, Golden ragwort
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Packera aurea is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

Cacalia aurea. Cineraria balsamita. Senecio aureus. Senecio gracilis

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Abortifacient;  Birthing aid;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Pectoral;  Stimulant;  Tonic;  
Uterine tonic.

Golden groundsel is a medicinal plant that is deserving of greater attention[4]. This species was widely used by N. American Indians to treat various complaints of the female reproductive system, and also to ease childbirth[238]. Whilst often stated to be completely safe to use, recent research has found that the plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that, in isolation, can cause liver damage and so this remedy can no longer be recommended for internal use[238, 254]. The roots and leaves are abortifacient, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, pectoral, stimulant and uterine tonic[4, 46, 165, 207, 222]. It is used externally in the treatment of vaginal discharge[238]. A tea made from the plant was frequently used by the N. American Indians as a remedy for various female troubles, including the pain of childbirth[207, 213]. Pharmacologists have not reported any uterine effects, but the plant does contain an essential oil (inuline) plus the alkaloids senecine and senecionine (which are poisonous to grazing animals)[213]. The plant is harvested before flowering and the roots are harvested in the autumn, both are dried for later use[238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in a sunny position in most moderately fertile well-drained soils[200]. Prefers a damp to wet soil and also succeeds in partial shade[238]. Succeeds in the wild garden though it is invasive[200]. This species is cultivated in parts of Russia for use in the pharmaceutical industry[238]. A polymorphic species, there are many named varieties[43].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[200]. Root cuttings in early spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.) Á.Löve & D.Löve

Botanical References

43200

Links / References

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