Information on Niger

Common Name: Niger
Scientific Name: Guizotia abyssinica
Irish Name: None known at present
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Niger is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

This is an annual plant which grows to a height of about 60 cm with a stout, hairy, well-branched stem. Blooming from July to October, it has rich yellow flowers (20-25 mm across) which are backed by two rows of large, sepal-like bracts. The flowers are composed of slightly untidy, ridged, spreading, strap-shaped petals which have deeply scalloped edges. The unstalked, opposite lanceolate leaves are toothed. This is not a native plant and it belongs to the Asteraceae family. 

I first recorded this plant in County Wexford in 2010 and photographed it again a year later. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Clearly the result of bird-feeding, Niger plants are now being found occasionally on rubbish dumps where household refuse is being discarded. This plant is sold, under the trade name of Nyger, for those who wish to feed members of the finch family, mainly Goldfinch and Greenfinch. However, even though it is supposed to be heat-treated to prevent it from seeding, I can vouch that this doesn’t always work as we have many plants which have grown from the seed scattered by our feathered friends.