One of the iconic wildflower images in Central Australia is the sight of the Annual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) that can carpet the countryside in spring, usually when the region had good autumn or winter rains. These yellow daisy like flowers are an annual, although they may not appear during drought times.

The yellowtop can reach a height of 30 cm with a yellow centre surrounded by 7-8 petals. The flower centre can be up to 1 cm in diameter with petals spaced apart in a star like formation and up to 2 cm in length.

When the flower set seed it changes into a head of densely white silky bristles. The seeds are spread by wind. The plant itself can be transplanted, although whilst they are fragile, they are resilient.

Common name
Fleshy Groundsel, Yellow Tops

The Annual Yellowtop does appear to show some difference to other Annual Yellowtop of the same species S. gregorii. Some appear to have a purplish colour and are more succulent in the appearance of their leaves and stems, such as those at Rainbow Valley. This is a result of different soil profile and nutrient values.1


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Genus: Senecio
  • Species: S. gregorii
  • Binomial name: Senecio gregorii

Footnote & References

  1. Senecio Gregorii – Many thanks to Karlee Foster for identification and additional information, Australian Indigenous Plant Identification
  2. Annual Yellowtop, Ausemade, https://ausemade.com.au/destinations/northern-territory-nt-australia/wurre-rainbow-valley/wrv-flora/wrv-annual-yellowtop/