Could this be a field with Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)? Or how about this next group of yellow flowers?
Nope. Neither photo shows the Common dandelion. Let’s look more closely.
These flower heads are from the first field of flowers pictured above. This is Cat’s ear (Hypochoeris radicata) — a plant previously featured in a comparison with Common dandelion.
This next photo is the flower from the second group of yellow composite flowers. It is Meadow hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum).
With a quick glance, it might seem that this is the same flowering plant. But look more carefully at another nearby specimen of each plant — one that is not quite blooming yet.
Although both “not-yet-blooming” flower heads have a similar overall shape, the Cat’s ear tends to grow singly or in spread-apart clusters (as shown in the third photo above). Meadow hawkweed has a tightly grouped cluster of flower heads — which can be seen in this comparison image as well as the next photo.
Here’s another photo of the Cat’s ear composite flower.
Check out the stem on the Cat’s ear plant. It is smooth. In contrast, Meadow hawkweed’s stem is hairy.
Here’s Meadow hawkweed in its late fall / early winter phase. The hairiness of the leaves is quite visible.
How about the Cat’s ear leaves?
Well, they are hairy, too! So how can we tell them apart when they are not blooming? Look closely at each plant’s leaf shape. They are clearly different along their margins.
Here is one last photo of Meadow hawkweed — illustrating its overall growth habit.
Thank you so much for the info!! 🙂 Are these edible/palatable like Dandelion?
My understanding is that Cat’s ear is edible. I do not think that Meadow hawkweed is edible. You’ll need to do your own research on that one.
So the Meadow Hawkweed has many flowers on a stem while the Cat’s Ears has one flower per stem?
I was crawling around in a field yesterday (everyone does that, right?), And came upon a small flower which resembled a dandelion, however upon closer examination, I noticed the undersides of a single row of the toothed petals closest to the sepals were red. There were many of this plant growing in clusters from a basal rosette. The plant is hairy, the leaves like that of the meadow hawkweed, but only one central round stalk per rosette, with only a single flower. I did not have a camera with me, unfortunately. Do you have any idea what it might be from the description? I am in northern NYS.
This could be Mouse ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella). According to Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide the head is usually solitary with a flower head about 1 inch wide.
This site (http://www.wildflowersofireland.net/plant_detail.php?id_flower=115&wildflower=Hawkweed,%20Mouse-ear) shows the red-striped underside of the outermost ray flowers.
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