South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Packera cana

Asteraceae : Packera cana


Download Seed: Achenes of gray ragwort are 3-5 mm in length. (58 KB)

Download Seedling: Seedling of gray ragwort two months after germinating. (65 KB)

Download Flowering: Seedling of gray ragwort two months after germinating. (54 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Woolly Groundsel, Gray ragwort


Packera cana is a perennial herb growing 10-30 cm tall, the stems and leaves densely covered with felt-like hairs giving them a silvery gray color. The leaves are simple and alternate. The rosette of basal leaves and the lowest cauline leaves have long petioles, the blade ovate to lanceolate, 2.5-5 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, with a blunt to rounded tip, and with margins that are entire to slightly toothed. The upper cauline leaves are much reduced. The is a corymbiform cyme with 6-15 heads. Each head has an involucre of 13-21 bracts measuring 5-6 mm in length. There are 8-13 ray flowers, the yellow ligules 7-10 mm long (occasionally absent), surrounding many yellow disk flowers, their corollas with 5 shallow teeth. The cylindrical achenes are about 2 mm long with a pappus of longer white hairs. Woolly groundsel blooms from May through July on open dry plains predominantly in western South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Woolly Groundsel can be used in rock gardens and other plantings that allow viewing of small specimens.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in June-July

Germination: Seeds are dormant and are best planted in the fall.

Soils: Rocky

Light: Full sun

Water: Dry

Asteraceae : Packera cana