Family: - Asteraceae.Names:
Other names:Common Hawkbit
Summary:A yellow flowered biennial to short lived perennial herb with lobed leaves in a rosette, grapnel like hairs. It has yellow flowers that are greyish purple underneath mainly in spring and summer on an unbranched, leafless, long stem.
First leaves:The leaves grow singly, the first being 15 to 20 mm long, narrowly egg shaped with a rounded tip and a short merging petiole. The edges are lightly scalloped or toothed. It carries scattered hairs on the upper and lower surface many them being grapnel hairs that have a distinctive shape with a 2-3 lobed tip reminiscent of a small grappling iron.
Leaves:The leaves are all in the basal rosette.
Stems:One to several flower stems, up to 350 mm long arise from the rosette. These are circular in cross section and fluted, with a solid pithy core. They are not branched and when elongating have their apex turned downwards. Towards the base they carry grapnel hairs but are hairless towards the top.
Flower head:Single on the end of the stem. Flower head (involucre) 7-11 mm long by 4-9 mm wide with about 12 similar sized bracts plus a few smaller outer bracts.
Flowers:'Flower' 25 to 30 mm in diameter with numerous ligulate florets and yellow in colour.
Fruit:Achene, cylindrical and tapering at each end, 3-6 mm long, rough, striped, crosswise wrinkled. Two types; the outer ones are thick, incurved with a ragged crown shaped pappus of small more or less united scales. The inner ones taper at the top, but scarcely beaked and have a pappus of about 12 feathery, broad based, bristles and an outer row of shorter finely barbed bristles. There is no stalk between the seed and its pappus.
Key Characters:No stalk between the seed and the pappus. Yellow flowers. Leafless, solid, unbranched stems.
Flowering times:Most of the year in western NSW.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Distribution:NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Soil:Sands to grey heavy clay soils
Plant Associations:River Red Gum communities.
Toxicity:Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:Thresholds:
Plants of similar appearance:Hawkbit is frequently confused with Cat's Ear and Dandelion and is often called 'Dandelion'. In the mature stage it is distinguished from the former by having an unbranched flower stem and from the latter by having a solid flower stem. The leaf shape is more regular than that of Cat's Ear and has a scalloped rather than a backwardly directed serrated edge like Dandelion. In the seedling the first leaf is rather longer and narrower than that of the other two species; the first leaf is longer and narrower and usually has its widest point about three quarters of the length towards the apex of the blade rather than half way along.
References:Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P107. Diagram of seed.
Acknowledgments:Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.