Institute for environmental Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich

Tansy ragwort and other ragwort species in Switzerland: an overview

Articles in the Swiss press on tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) have lead to a broad uncertainty in summer 2002. In the present article we summarize the available information about this and the two other indigenous grassland ragwort species outside the alpine summer pastures. Senecio jacobaea as well as the similar S. erucifolius grow in ruderal areas, embankments and in extensive pastures. In intensive pastures and meadows, however, the species have no chance to establish. Ragwort species are also hardly found in ecological set-aside areas. On highway embankments and locally in semi-intensive pastures tansy ragwort has increased. In two mountain regions the closely related but rather rare Senecio aquaticus has strongly increased in semi-intensive meadows. Ragwort species are dangerous mainly to cattle and horses. A control of ragwort in the grassland is therefore essentia

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