Priority: - Prevent
Identification and Reproduction
- Mouse-ear hawkweed is a perennial herbaceous plant that is low growing, growing up to 30 cm tall.
- Stems are slender and hairy.
- Leaves occur in the form of a basal rosette or sparsely on stolons. Leaves are flat, narrow and covered in hairs.
- Single flowers or pairs are found on the ends of stems. Flowers are dandelion-like with many petals. Bracts are covered in blackish glandular and white bristly hairs.
- Each rosette will produce one flower head.
- Blooms occur in May and June.
- Plants can reproduce vegetatively or from seeds.
- Stolons will stretch and from axillary buds and form daughter rosettes.
- Seeds can be dispersed by wind.
- Stolon fragments are often spread by agricultural machinery.
Habitat & Ecology
- Common on open, sandy and semi-dry sites.
- It is found on grasslands, roadsides, pastures and sites that are commonly disturbed.
- It is well adapted to soil with low moisture and nutrient levels.
- Mouse-ear hawkweed is shade intolerant.
- Seeds will often contaminate agricultural seed crops.
- Reduce forage availabilty for livestock.
- Reduce the quality and value of crops.
- Invades open space quickly and will out-compete native species.
Prevention is a high priorty for this plant.
- Ensure that equipment, vehicles and tools are clean and free of debris.
- Considering increasing shade by planting native shrubs and trees.
- Promote healthy grass cover by seeding and fertilizing to prevent hawkweed establishment.
- Report this plant if you think you have seen it.
- Small, young infestations can be dug up and removed. It is recommended to remove when soil is moist so entire root systems can be removed.
- If flowers are present cut off the stem carefully.
- Bag and dispose of all plant parts in the garbage.
For more for details check out the Invasive Species Compendium datasheet on Pilosella officinarum (mouse-ear hawkweed).
For more details on how to distinguish and control hawkweed species please check out the King County Best Management Practices for Hawkweeds.
Header photo (gailhampshire).