Sp. Pl. 2: 869. 1753.
Annuals, 20–40(–60) cm (taprooted). Herbage (somewhat sticky) hairy or unevenly glabrate. Stems single (often branching distally). Leaves evenly distributed; petiolate (petiole bases ± expanded); blades obovate (lyrate to pinnatifid, lobes linear to ± cruciate), 3–8 × 1.5–3.5 cm, bases contracted or tapered, ultimate margins ± dentate to crenate. Heads 8–20 in corymbiform arrays. Calyculi of 8–14 ± ovate bractlets (lengths to 1/2 phyllaries). Phyllaries ± 13+, 6–10 mm, tips black. Ray florets ± 13; corolla laminae (deep red to purple) 10–15 mm. Cypselae usually hairy. 2n = 20.
Phenology: Flowering mostly spring–summer (sparingly at other times).
Habitat: Disturbed coastal sites
Elevation: 0–100 m
Introduced; Calif., Africa.
Senecio elegans escapes from cultivation and persists along the central coast of California. Native to South Africa, it is now established widely in areas of Mediterranean climate.