Picris hieracioides L.

hawkweed oxtongue

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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

Hawkweed oxtongue is native to Europe and Asia, and invasive in Africa, Australia and North America. It is listed as a State Noxious Weed in the State of Washington, and is found in disturbed areas in New England.

Habitat

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

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade edges
  • 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
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
50–300 mm
Disk flower number
NA
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    • there are two main cycles of bracts
    • there is one main cycle of bracts
    Bract keels
    the bracts do not have keels
    Bract margins
    there are few or no fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are hairy, with simple hairs on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract separation
    at least some flower heads have bracts connected to one another at or near their bases
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    • the main bracts are linear (long and very narrow)
    Bract spines
    the bracts are prickly on the outer side
    Bract tip color
    the tips are the same color as the center of the bract
    Bract tip extension appearance
    NA
    Bract tip extension edge
    NA
    Bract tip orientation
    the bracts are pressed against the plant, or spreading out at the tips
    Bract tip shape
    • the tips of the bracts acute (have a sharp point)
    • the tips of the bracts are acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    Bract width
    0.5–3
    Bracts
    there are at least two distinct forms of bracts in different cycles
    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 four or more 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 platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    some or all the flower heads are grouped in clusters of two or more
    Flower head profile
    • the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    • the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    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
    8–15 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Inflorescence stem
    hairs are present on the stem of the inflorescence
    Ovary beak
    there is no 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 four to six lines or ribs visible on the ovary
    • there are seven to nine ribs visible on the ovary
    • 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
    Ray flower color
    yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    the ray flowers have both carpels and stamens
    Ray flowers
    • 26-50
    • more than 50
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant contain both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Swelling at base of flower head
    the peduncles are not swollen, or only slightly
    Width of flower head base
    10–16 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    11 or more
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    3–6 mm
    Seed hair tuft 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 tips
    at least some of the pappus hairs are broader at their tips than their bases
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    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
  • 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
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
    • there is a thickened taproot 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
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • 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
    Leaf blade edges
    • 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
    50–300 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    10–50 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    NA
    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
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. hieracioides

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. hieracioides

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Sonchus arvensis
Helminthotheca echioides:
outer series of involucral bracts numbering 3-5, ovate to broad-lanceolate, mostly 3–5 mm wide, and cypsela body terminated by a slender beak nearly as long as or longer than the body proper (vs. P. hieracioides, with the outer series of involucral bracts numbering usually 13 or more, lanceolate to broad-linear, mostly 0.5–1.5 mm wide, and cypsela body apically narrowed but without a beak).

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Picris

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Picris hieracioides L. E

hawkweed oxtongue. CT, MA, ME, VT; also reported from RI by Hultén and Fries (1986), but specimens are unknown. Roadsides, fields, waste areas.