Hypochaeris glabra L.

smooth cat's-ear

Copyright: various copyright holders. To reuse an image, please click it to see who you will need to contact.

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Found this plant? Take a photo and post a sighting.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

enlarge

Facts About

Smooth cat's-ear is a small annual plant, native to Europe, and mostly an uncommon adventive in North America. The genus is distinguished by having fruits that differ depending on where they occur on the flower head: those on the inner part of the flower head have a narrow beak (stalk) between the seed and the pappus (tuft of branching hairs that aid in wind dispersal), while those on the outer edge lack a beak.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray
Ray flower color
  • white
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
20–110 mm
Disk flower number
0
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract cycle number
    there are three or more cycles of bracts
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are linear (long and very narrow)
    Bract texture
    the bracts appear thin, flexible and nearly translucent
    Bract tip shape
    NA
    Disk flower color
    NA
    Disk flower lobe number
    NA
    Disk flower number
    0
    Disk flower proportions
    NA
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Disk flower shape
    NA
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head profile
    the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    Flower head shape
    • the flower head is cup-shaped (the sides diverge, then curve upwards and become parallel)
    • the sides of the flower head are roughly parallel, like a cylinder
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray
    Height of flower head base
    8–17 mm
    Inflorescence shape
    • NA
    • the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    • the inflorescence is not flat-topped but appears rounded, with some flower heads distinctly higher than others
    Ovary beak
    there is a beak on the ovary
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is oblong (roughly rectangular but rounded at the ends)
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Ray flower color
    • white
    • yellow
    Ray flowers
    • 16-25
    • 26-50
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
  • Fruits or seeds
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    6–13.5 mm
    Seed hair tuft details
    the pappus hairs have smaller hairs along their sides
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is milky and opaque, and may be white or colored
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is annual, it lacks evidence of previous years' growth
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    • the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade hairs
    NA
    Leaf blade length
    20–110 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    Leaf blade width
    5–30 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the lower leaves are larger, toothier, and/or on longer stalks than the upper leaves
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    the flowering stem has no leaves above the base
    Stem internode hair type
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Hypochaeris radicata:
leaf blades hispid, involucre 10–15 mm tall during anthesis, and rays evident, exceeding the involucre and ca. 4 times as long as wide (vs. H. glabra, with leaf blades glabrous or puberulent, involucre 8–10 mm tall during anthesis, and rays relatively inconspicuous, not much exceeding the involucre and ca. 2 times as long as wide).
Scorzoneroides autumnalis:
receptacle without chaff, and the cypsela body rugulose, without a beak (vs. H. glabra, with the receptacle with chaff, and the cypselas muricate, the inner terminated by a slender beak).

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Hypochaeris

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Hypochaeris glabra L. E

smooth cat’s-ear. MA, ME. Fields, road and trail edges, disturbed soil.