Senecio paludosus L. - Fen ragwort
This Eurosibiric species is present from central Europe to western Asia and, even if it is not endangered in the continent, it is undergoing a reduction in numbers of specimens in many European countries, especially near the limit of its distributiona.
This plant is perennial. It can be 2m high and even more, with a inflorescence composed of big flower heads (diameter 3 cm), with basal leaves which disappear when the plant is flowering. The local populations belong to the subspecies angustifolius, with linear-lanceolate cauline leaves – 1 cm wide – around the stem. The leaves are serrate towards the apex, smooth on the upper pagina and withish on the lower pagina for the presence of cobwebby hairs.
The species, generally present on the plain or in the lower hills, grows both on peaty and mineral soils - slightly acid to alkaline – and can tolerate flooding for many months a year. The fully grown specimens thrive also in the shade.
The species is generally present in two types of habitats: lake pond river banks, where very wet and dry periods alternate, and on base rich peaty soils in damp lowlands or alkaline fens, where its growth depends on the habitat clearing.
In the Friuli Resurgence area, the species is present in many small spots, generally in Cladium fen being silted up and occasionally mown, in the same water conditions as those of the Schoenus fens, even if more eutrophic.