Habitat Preferences: Rocky slopes, dry hillsides, usually among other shrubs.
Recorded Range: Lemmon's Ragwort is a relatively rare plant in the United States where it is found only in Arizona in the central and southern parts of the state as well as Yuma and Navajo Counties. It is also native to Baja California.
Genus Information: In North America there are 71 species for Senecio. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 1,587 accepted species names and a further 871 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Senecio.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 13 species of Senecio, California has 25 species, Nevada has 15 species, New Mexico has 22 species, Texas has 9 species, Utah has 18 species. Data approximate and subject to revision.
Comments: Lemmon's Ragwort is an early spring bloomer that is common in Arizona in preferred habitats. The photo above was taken April 12 near the Salt River along the Apache Trail, Fish Creek Hill, Maricopa County, Arizona. The type of Senecio decorticans is from along the Salt River, near the Apache Trail (Nelson 10309, 11287).
Lemmon's Ragwort looks similar to several other Ragworts however the shape of the leaf including the clasping leaf bases and the axillary tuft of hair help separate various species.
The genus Senecio is known to contain alkaloids which may cause liver damage in livestock.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Senecio lemmonii has showy daisy-like flowers and the flowers and their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar, shelter and protection through cover.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Bees and Insects
Senecio lemmonii has showy daisy-like flowers and the flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths, native bees and other insects in search of nectar and/or other food.
The genus “Senecio” (Sene'cio:) from senex, "old man," referring to the gray hairs on the seeds.