in J. Franklin et al., Narr. Journey Polar Sea, 748. 1823.
Perennials, (10–)20–35(–50) cm (rhizomes suberect to creeping). Herbage loosely, often unevenly, floccose-tomentose, glabrescent. Stems single or clustered. Leaves reduced distally; petiolate; blades narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, (4–)8–18(–25) cm, bases tapered, margins subentire to dentate (denticles callous; mid and distal leaves bractlike, clasping). Heads (2–)7–12(–20+) in corymbiform arrays. Calyculi of 2–5 linear bractlets (1–2 mm). Phyllaries (± 8) ± 13 (± 21), 4–7 mm, tips black. Ray florets (± 5) ± 8 (± 13); corolla laminae 8–10(–15) mm. Cypselae glabrous. 2n = 40, 80.
Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: Moist meadows, gravelly streambeds, open woods in alpine or boreal sites
Elevation: 200–2500 m
Alta., B.C., N.W.T., Yukon, Alaska, Mont., Wash., Wyo.
Senecio lugens varies greatly in robustness across its range. It is scattered widely in the Rocky Mountain uplift and adjacent regions from northern Wyoming to Alaska; it is disjunct in the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Superficially similar to S. integerrimus, S. lugens has well-developed, coarse, spreading rootstocks with branching roots; S. integerrimus arises from foreshortened, buttonlike caudices with abundant unbranched, fleshy-fibrous roots.