Hoary Ragwort - Jacobaea erucifolia


Medium to tall, grey downy plant, with a shortly creeping stock bearing terminal leaf rosettes. Stems erect, branched above the middle. Leaves pinnately lobed, the lower stalked and usually present at flowering time. Upper leaves with narrower lobes; all leaves with somewhat down rolled margins and grey-hairy, especially beneath. Phyllary bracts not black tipped. Flowerheads bright yellow 12 to 15 mm with 12 to 15 rays, borne in a narrow flat topped cluster.

Similar Species

Common Ragwort

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Leaves with dense cottony grey hairs on the underside; terminal lobe of leaf narrow.  Phyllaries (bracts) at the base of the flower-head are about half as long as the main phyllaries. Common ragwort has basal phyllaries less than half as long as the main ones, and the leaves as more or less glabrous underneath.

Recording advice

A photograph of the whole plant, showing leaves as well as flowers. It is not possible to verify the species from photos of the flowers alone


Rough grassland, pastures hedgebanks and roadsides.

When to see it

July to September.

Life History


UK Status

Locally common in England and Wales, scarce in Scotland.

VC55 Status

Frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 191 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map