Mouse-ear Hawkweed

©Steve Chilton

Mouse-ear hawkweed

Scientific name: Pilosella officinarum
Looking a bit like a ragged version of a dandelion, Mouse-ear hawkweed has lemon-yellow flower heads that are tinged with red at their outer edges. It likes grassy places with short turf and chalky soils.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 25cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to October

About

Mouse-ear hawkweed is a spreading plant of dry grasslands with short turf and chalky soils, such as those of sand dunes, heaths, clifftops and chalk downlands. Looking a bit like a ragged version of its relative, the Common dandelion, its lemon-yellow flower heads are a composite of lots of tiny flowers. These flower heads can be seen from May to October and attract a variety of insects. It is sometimes considered an agricultural weed of poor lawns and degraded pastures.

How to identify

Mouse-ear hawkweed has lemon-yellow flower heads displaying closely packed florets (tiny flowers); the outer florets are red underneath. Its leaves are spoon-shaped and downy, and form a rosette at the base of the flower stem.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Mouse-ear hawkweed has been used in herbal medicine to treat respiratory infections.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.