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Some people have an allergic reaction of the skin from touching Ragwort.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Ragwort, Tansy ragwort,, Ragweed, Stinking Nanny/Ninny/Willy, Staggerwort, Dog Standard, Benweed
Scientific Name Jacobaea vulgaris
Season Start Jan
Season End Dec
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


The leaves are pinnately lobed, the lobes getting bigger towards the end of the leaf.  Ragwort is a biennial and in the first year the leaves grow in a rosette with the flower stems appearing in the second year.


Ragwort produces many yellow flowers in its second year growth and keeps flowering from June to November, when the seeds have been produced the plant dies.


Fields, pastures, waste ground, roadsides and open spaces and likes cool but damp conditions.

Possible Confusion

The plant looks a little like Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, but is generally ‘raggedy’ enough to identify.






When trying to eradicate ragwort all the root must be removed or the plant will grow back again.

Other Facts

There are not many reports of Ragwort poisoning in humans as the plant tastes horrible enough to prevent consumption and horses will avoid the plant for similar reasons, the problem for horses occurs when dried Ragwort is mixed in with hay as horses can not recognise the plant dry.
The leaves can be used to produce a green dye, the flowers, a yellow dye.
The cinnabar moth relies on ragwort during its life cycle.


7 comments for Ragwort

  1. Joanna Burrows says:

    Please can I subscribe to alerts for further foraging courses? Huntingdon.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      To be kept informed of all our courses click on ‘Contacts’ in the top bar and it will take you to a page with Foraging Alerts, click and then add you details.

  2. Kate says:

    Does Ragwort have no herbal uses?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      There seems to be topical uses for ragwort but eating or ingesting it is not recommended.

  3. Maggie says:

    I have a silver leaved type of ragwort that doesn’t look like Jacobaea vulgaris. What could it be?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      It may be Cineraria maritima or Silver Ragwort which is grown as a garden plant.

      1. Maggie says:

        Thanks – that might be it!

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