Kingdom: Plantae
    Division: Magnoliophyta
    Class: Magnoliopsida
    Order: Asterales
    Family: Asteraceae
    Genus: Packera
    Species: P. franciscana

The San Francisco Peaks ragwort (Packera franciscana), also known as the San Francisco Peaks groundsel, is a dwarf perennial plant found only in the alpine tundra of the San Francisco Peaks, north of Flagstaff, Arizona. With a habitat restricted to less than 2.6 km2 of talus slopes above 3,300 m in elevation, the San Francisco Peaks ragwort is considered a threatened species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Current estimates place the number of individual plants at around 5,000.

The species was first discovered by botanist Edward L. Greene on July 10th, 1884. The plant is described as growing low to the ground, to a size of about 3-10 cm. Stems hold between 1-6 flower heads, each containing 8-13 yellow-gold flowers. The San Francisco Peaks ragwort flowers from early August to mid-September.

Threats to the San Francisco Peaks ragwort include hiking, ski area development, natural disturbances such as avalanches, and the destruction of its habitat due to global climate change. Off-trail hiking in the area is now prohibited, as well as disturbing or collecting the plant without a permit. Since 1996, the San Francisco Peaks ragwort has been protected under the Endangered Species Act and, as of August 21st, 2000, is classified by NatureServe as a G1 species (critically imperiled, with a very high risk of extinction).


  1. "CPC National Collection Plant Profile: Senecio franciscanus", The Center for Plant Conservation (March 4th, 2010)
  2. "San Francisco Peaks Groundsel (Ragwort)", Arizona Ecological Services (June 20th, 2010)
  3. "PLANTS Profile for Packera franciscana (San Francisco Peaks ragwort)", United States Department of Agriculture (October 20th, 2002)
  4. "ITIS Standard Report: Packera franciscana", Integrated Taxonomic Information System (2010)
  5. "Packera franciscana photo", United States Forest Service

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