Packera paupercula

(Michaux) Á. Löve & D. Löve

Bot. Not. 128: 520. 1976.

Common names: Balsam groundsel
Basionym: Senecio pauperculus Michaux Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 120. 1803
Synonyms: Senecio balsamitae Muhlenberg ex Willdenow Senecio balsamitae var. firmifolius Greenman Senecio balsamitae var. thomsoniensis Greenman Senecio crawfordii Greenman Senecio flavovirens Greenman Senecio gaspensis Oakes ex Rusby Senecio multnomensis Rydberg Senecio robbinsii var. subtomentosus Peck Senecio tweedyi
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 20. Treatment on page 595. Mentioned on page 570, 573, 579, 589, 596.

Perennials, 20–45+ cm; subrhizomatous (bases weakly branched, ascending to erect). Stems 1 or 2–4, loosely clustered, glabrous or sparsely tomentose proximally. Basal leaves petiolate; blades lanceolate to narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, 30–60+ × 10–20+ mm, bases tapering, sometimes obtuse, margins subentire to dentate or serrate. Cauline leaves gradually reduced (proximals petiolate, sublyrate; mids sessile, not clasping, lanceolate, dissected, incised, or lacerate; distals sessile, bractlike). Heads 2–10+ in loose or compact, corymbiform arrays. Peduncles usually bracteate, sometimes ebracteate, glabrous. Calyculi inconspicuous. Phyllaries 13 or 21, green, 5–8+ mm, glabrous. Ray florets 0, 8, or 13; corolla laminae (pale yellow) 5–10+ mm. Disc florets 50–65+; corolla tubes 2–3 mm, limbs 2–3 mm. Cypselae 1–2 mm, usually glabrous, sometimes hispidulous on ribs; pappi 3.5–4.5 mm. 2n = 44, 46, 92.

Phenology: Flowering May–late Jun (south), late Jun–early Aug (north).
Habitat: Wet meadows, open woodlands, along streams, rocky outcrops
Elevation: 0–3000 m



Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon, Ala., Alaska, Colo., D.C., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., S.Dak., Tenn., Utah, Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.


Ecologically and morphologically, Packera paupercula is the most variable species of the genus in North America. Some “phases” have been treated as separate species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and races. Variation within P. paupercula hints at some interesting evolutionary relationships; characteristics used to separate taxa overlap. Much of the morphologic variation in this species may be due to hybridization and introgression. I do not recognize any of the infraspecific taxa that have been proposed.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Packera paupercula"
Debra K. Trock +
(Michaux) Á. Löve & D. Löve +
Senecio pauperculus +
Balsam groundsel +
Alta. +, B.C. +, Man. +, N.B. +, Nfld. and Labr. +, N.W.T. +, N.S. +, Nunavut +, Ont. +, P.E.I. +, Que. +, Sask. +, Yukon +, Ala. +, Alaska +, Colo. +, D.C. +, Ga. +, Idaho +, Ill. +, Ind. +, Iowa +, Ky. +, Maine +, Md. +, Mass. +, Mich. +, Minn. +, Mont. +, N.H. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, N.Dak. +, Ohio +, Pa. +, S.Dak. +, Tenn. +, Utah +, Vt. +, Wash. +, W.Va. +, Wis. +  and Wyo. +
0–3000 m +
Wet meadows, open woodlands, along streams, rocky outcrops +
Flowering May–late Jun (south), late Jun–early Aug (north). +
Illustrated +  and Endemic +
Senecio balsamitae +, Senecio balsamitae var. firmifolius +, Senecio balsamitae var. thomsoniensis +, Senecio crawfordii +, Senecio flavovirens +, Senecio gaspensis +, Senecio multnomensis +, Senecio robbinsii var. subtomentosus +  and Senecio tweedyi +
Packera paupercula +
species +