Scientific Name: Crepis tectorum

Common Name: narrowleaf hawksbeard

Habit: Seedlings have ovate 10-12 mm long by 2-3 mm wide hairless ovate cotyledons. Reaching heights of 1 m the narrow-leaved hawk's-beard is a prolific seed producer. It has a branched taproot that reaches deep into the soil. Narrow-leaved hawk's-beard has hairless leafy stems. All parts of this plant when broken exude a milky latex sap.

Leaves: Stalked lance-shaped basal leaves are 10 to 15 cm long and 4 cm wide, with numerous backward-pointing teeth to deeply lobed segments. Stem leaves are stalkless, less than 1 cm wide, and they clasp the stem. Frequently the margins of the stem leaves roll under toward the midrib.

Identifying Characteristics: Milky juice, Yellow flowers 10-15 mm across, and leaves with backward pointing lobes.

Flower Seed Head: Flower heads in groups of 5 are found n the branches. Heads usually measure 10-15 mm across with 30 to 70 yellow ray florets. The basal rosette of leaves disappears before the first flowers appear.

Seed Fruit: Each floret produces an achene bearing a dark purplish brown spindle-shaped 3-4 mm long seed. Seed coats bear 10 prominent ribs that are rough to the touch. The pappus has numerous white hairs that aid in seed dispersal. Narrow-leaved hawk's-beard is capable of producing as many as 49,000 seeds with no dormant period required for germination.

Where Found: Found throughout Canada and the United States in forage crops, roadsides, pastures and waste areas. Can be a serious weed in fall sown crops where the basal rosette is not controlled by spring cultivation.

  • Life cycle: biennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Asteraceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Leaf margin: lobed; serrated

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody; prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Leaf stalk: none