Identifying Common Ragwort in Scotland

Need help checking if a plant is common ragwort? Take a look at our guide below.

First Year Growth: Rosette Stage

Ragwort rosette


Rosette growth can vary greatly. As the rosette develops, the leaves look irregular with jagged edges. Rosettes are often dark green but can be tinged with purple.

Ragwort roots

Even at rosette stage, roots are numerous, relatively thick
and quite tough.




Ragwort seedlings appear from autumn to June and are usually spotted when around 10-15mm high, although they often go unnoticed until they reach rosette stage. They have a spade-shaped leaf that is notched at the top.

Second Year Growth: Plant Stage

Ragwort flowers

Flowers usually appear from June to late October. Plants have large, flat-topped heads of dense yellow flowers that can be extensive.



Ragwort seeds

Seeds ripen in July/August and are normally shed from September. One plant can produce thousands of seeds, which can lie dormant for years.



Ragwort leaves

Leaves are dark green and quite tough. They may be sparsely hairy on the lower side. Leaves are deeply divided with irregular, jagged edges.


Ragwort stems


Stems are tough and often tinged red near the base, but are brighter green and branched near the middle.



Ragwort roots

Established plants have a spreading roots system. Roots may branch and spread quickly, with additional roots also produced by individual branches. Ragwort is a deep-rooting plant.



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