By Ed Schmidt
Squaw weed, also known as round-leaved ragwort, has beautiful yellow flowers in the spring, and the leaves make an attractive ground cover. It thrives in shade, and tolerates fairly dry conditions. On the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Plantfinder, it gets 4 stars. Originally designated as Senecio obovatus, the current scientific name is Packera obovata.
At our June meeting, Dave Tylka described how squaw weed was popping up in places where he didn’t want it. He noted that the dandelion-like airborne seeds were the source of the problem, and he recommended not planting it. At least one Wild Ones member was inspired to remove her plants the following day.
The squaw weed in my yard is well-behaved, and doesn’t seem to spread by seed. It spreads by stolons (runners), but more slowly than wild ginger. Rabbits seem to like it, and their frequent nibbling keeps it from spreading as fast as I’d like.
To see squaw weed in bloom, see this post by Betty Hall in Kentucky.
Do you have squaw weed in your yard? What is your experience with it?
Editor’s note: See Dave Tylka’s response in the comments below.