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The Toxic Weed That You Might Just Mistake For A Daisy-Like Flower
Tansy ragwort may look like a pretty yellow flower, but it’s an invasive weed that’s toxic to humans and animals and difficult to get rid of once it gains a foothold in your yard.
Also called staggerwort and stinking willie, tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobeae) has petals surrounding the center like a daisy and looks similar to common tansy or St. John's Wort.
However, tansy ragwort is classified as a noxious weed in Washington, and WebMD warns that it causes upset stomachs and can even be lethal to people, pets, and livestock if eaten.
This weed thrives along roads and in pastures, fields, and forests where the trees have been cleared. It spreads easily and looks like a flowering ground cover if left alone.
Seeds can be dispersed by natural means like wind and water or by sticking to clothes or fur. If you have mud on your shoes, seeds can stick to that and drop off in your garden.
Never purposefully introduce tansy ragwort into your garden, and if you find it in your yard, the best way to eradicate it is by pulling it up by hand and digging up all the roots.
You can also use black plastic to suppress seed germination or biological controls like cinnabar moth larvae, flea beetles, or seed fly larvae, which feed off and kill it.