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Report an Invasive Species

Orange Hawkweed

Orange Hawkweed

Orange Hawkweed

(Hieracium aurantiacum)

Priority: -  Contain

Tags: Agricultural | Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction


  • Orange hawkweed is an invasive flowering perennial in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.
  • Single erect stem can grow upto one metre tall and is covered in hairs but leafless. 


  • It has very hairy leaves that form in a central basal rosette. 
  • Flowers are orange and dandelion-like. 


  • Spreads by seeds that are easily dispersed by wind
  • Vegetatively grow through stolons (above ground) and rhizomes (below ground). 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Orange hawkweed prefers well-drained, coarse-textured soils.
  • It will invade open and disturbed areas like pastures and roadsides as well as wetlands.
  • Similar to yellow hawkweed, it is known to hybridize with native species. 



  • Displaces crop yields in agriculture. 
  • Reduces forage availablilty for livestock 
  • Since orange hawkweed can establish quickly on deforested sites it can impact reforestation measures. 


  • It outcompetes other native plants, reducing forage and biodiversity. 
  • Forms monocultures. 
  • Has allelopathic properties that prevents growth of other plants.


Mechanical/Manual Control: 

  • Prior to flowering digging may be effective. Ensure that entire roots are removed. 
  • Small infestations can be hand pulled. Be sure to collect all stolon and root fragments to prevent regrowth. 

Biological Control: 

Currently a stolon-feeding wasp and a root-feeding hover fly are being researced in BC. 

Chemical Control: 

  • Picloram, aminopyralid, 2,4-D are effective on orange hawkweed. 
  • Another consideration is to fertilize surrounding native vegetation in the spring. This will help facilitate growth to help outcompete with the invader. 
  • Please carefully read and follow herbicide labels prior to application. 

For alternative planting options to orange hawkweed download the ISCBC's Grow Me Instead brochure (pg. 39 and 40).


Download A Guide to Weeds in British Columbia for Orange Hawkweed here.

For further details on Orange Hawkweed control please refer to the Metro Vancouver Best Management Practices for Orange Hawkweed(pg. 12-20)

Header photo (Sapin88).