This is a species that I recently found growing in my front lawn. I have also noticed it in bloom in a few of the local metroparks.
Hawkweed is a fibrous-rooted perennial with upright stems and small, dandelion-like flower heads in loose clusters. A European species, it is invasive in northwestern and northeastern North America.
This plant is found mostly in open fields, mountain meadows, forest clearings, permanent pastures, cleared timber units, abandoned farmland, roadsides and other disturbed areas. It is typically encountered where soil is well-drained, coarse-textured and low in nutrients.
Hawkweed, with their 10,000+ recorded species and subspecies, do their part to make the Aster Family the second largest family of flowering plants. I mostly see all-yellow types and orange types – their flowers are less than one inch across.
Its two-to-five-inch leaves mostly surround the base of the plant and are pointed or rounded at the tip and toothless. All parts of Hawkweed are conspicuously hairy and like Dandelion, will exude a white milky sap when broken.
Since most Hawkweed reproduce exclusively asexually by means of seeds that are genetically identical to their mother plant, clones or populations that consist of genetically identical plants are formed.
This plant is also known as Devil’s Paintbrush, Red daisy and Orange King-devil.