T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Roldana petasitis (Velvet Groundsel)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Roldana
Species: R. petasitis
Binomial name: Roldana petasitis
Synonyms: Senecio petasitis, Cineraria petasitis.
Common name: Velvet Groundsel, California geranium, Senecio petasites

Roldana petasitis is an erect perennial shrub (<12m tall) from plant from South Africa. In New Zealand it is classed as a weed as its dense foliage shades and crowds out native species. It spreads itself on banks and hills, roadsides and in open forests.
Roldana petasitis large oval leaves have 4-7 shallow lobes and are 10-20 cm wide. The are covered in hairs, giving them a velvety texture. Its stems are usually reddish and have a coating of hairs.
During July to November it is covered in dense, terminal panicles of small bright yellow daisy like flowers. These flowering heads have yellow petals (0.5-1 cm long) around the margin of a central brownish yellow disc.
The flowers are followed by numerous white fluffy seeds which are dispersed by wind. Plants can also establish from stem fragments and layering.

  All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.

The red flower bud.

The hairy underside of a leaf.