Meadow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum)

Yellow Hawkweed (Hieracium pratense)

The Meadow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum) or (Hieracium pratense); also known as Yellow Hawkweed, Yellow King Devil, and Field Hawkweed; is a  perennial herb/forb in the Aster Family (Asteracceae) and order Asterales. It is common around French Hill Pond. The photograph on this page was taken to the north of the pond. The genus  name is derived from the Greek word "hierax" which means "hawk." The ancient Roman naturalist, Piny, believed that hawks fed on this plant. The species name, caespitosum, is from the Latin for "sod.". This forb can grow to three feet (90 centimeters) tall. The ray flowers are yellow and ½ inch (1.3 centimeters) wide in clusters at the top of the plant. Each ray flower is surrounded by green bracts with black hairs. This plant flowers from May to August. 

The basal leaves are oblong, hairy, pointed,  toothless and from two to ten inches ( five to 25 centimeters) long. There may be a few, scattered, small leaves on the stem.

The fruit is a small seed attached to hair allowing the seed to be blown off the plant at maturity.

The root system is rhizomic. Propagation is by wind-drive seeds and leafy runners that form a matted root system.

Yellow Hawkweed (Hieracium pratense) Leaves

The Meadow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum) is considered a noxious weed in many states.


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