Leontodon saxatilis Lam.

little hawkbit

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Little hawkbit is introduced from Europe to North America. Within New England it has been collected in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A study of the advantages of having two types of seeds in little hawksbit found that seeds with pappus hairs (hairs at the tip of the seed that aid in wind dispersal) displayed few other characteristics beneficial to colonizing sites far from the parental plant, while those lacking pappus hairs were only marginally better equipped to replace the parent at the home site.

Habitat

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

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • 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
  • other
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
  • at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
20–150 mm
Disk flower number
NA
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract cycle number
    • there are three or more cycles of bracts
    • there are two main cycles of bracts
    Bract inner side hairs
    • the bracts are hairy on their inner surfaces
    • the bracts are not hairy on their inner surfaces
    Bract outer side hair type
    • the bracts are hairy, with simple hairs on their outer surface
    • the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    • the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    • the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Disk flower color
    NA
    Disk flower lobe number
    NA
    Disk flower number
    NA
    Disk flower proportions
    NA
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Disk flower shape
    NA
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has only one to three flower heads on it
    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 no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    NA
    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
    6–11 mm
    Inflorescence shape
    NA
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    16–20
    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 lines or ribs
    there are ten or more ribs visible on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is another shape
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Peduncle hair type
    NA
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles have no hairs
    Ray flower color
    • other
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    the ray flowers have both carpels and stamens
    Ray flowers
    • 16-25
    • 26-50
    Ray length
    8–15 mm
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant contain both carpels and stamens
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Swelling at base of flower head
    the peduncles are not swollen, or only slightly
    Width of flower head base
    4–9 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Ovary beak length
    1 mm
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    4.5–5 mm
    Seed hair tuft color
    • the pappus hairs are another color
    • the pappus hairs are white or off-white
    Seed hair tuft details
    the pappus hairs have smaller hairs along their sides
    Seed hair tuft length
    0.5–6 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    the pappus hairs are slender
    Seed hairs uniform
    there are two distinct lengths of pappus hairs
    Seed tuft type
    • the pappus is made of flat scales that are not split or frayed at the tips
    • the pappus is made of very fine hairs or bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    • at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
    • there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • 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 biennial, it appears as either first year (non-reproductive) plants or second year plants with flowers or fruit
    • the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    • the plant has a caudex (the root mass is firm and hardened at the top)
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct 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
    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
    the leaf blade has branched hairs
    Leaf blade length
    20–150 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
    5–25 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 leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    the flowering stem has no leaves above the base
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hair type
    • at least some of the hairs on the stem are branched
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    • the stem has hairs between the nodes
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Occurs only in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: UPL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Leontodon hispidus:
pappus of inner flowers and outer flowers alike, well-developed, with an inner series of plumose bristles and an outer series of slender scales or barbellate bristles, and involucre 10–18 mm tall during anthesis (vs. L. saxatilis, with the pappus of inner flowers with an inner series of plumose bristles and an outer series of scales that may be tipped with a scabrous awn, that of the outer flowers reduced to a short, laciniate crown, and involucre 6–11 mm tall during anthesis).

Synonyms

  • Leontodon leysseri (Wallr.) G. Beck
  • Leontodon nudicaulis Mérat
  • Leontodon nudicaulis Mérat ssp. taraxacoides (Vill.) Schinz & Thellung
  • Leontodon taraxacoides (Vill.) Mérat

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Leontodon

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our subspecies is Leontodon saxatilis Lam. ssp. saxatilis.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

2.  Leontodon saxatilis Lam. ssp. saxatilis E

little hawkbit. Leontodon leysseri (Wallr.) G. Beck; L. nudicaulis Mérat; L. nudicaulis Mérat ssp. taraxacoides (Vill.) Schinz & Thellung; L. taraxacoides (Vill.) Mérat • CT, MA; also reported from RI and VT by Bogler (2006b), but specimens are unknown. Fields, roadsides, lawns, disturbed soil.