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Hypochaeris radicata is often confused with:
Taraxacum officinale Growing in a field
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium Alllium
Epilobium angustifolium Epilobium angustifolium
Oxalis Flowers and Leaves

Cat's Ear Hypochaeris radicata

Phonetic Spelling
hy-poh-KAIR-iss rad-ee-KAY-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Cat's Ear is a perennial weed from Eurasia in the aster family. It has naturalized on every continent except Antarctica. It has a long taproot and a basal rosette of leaves. The flowers are often mistaken for dandelions as they both form wind-borne seeds. It is found in lawns, fields, roadsides, meadows, pastures, lawns and other disturbed areas. In natural areas that have not been disturbed, this invasive plant is not typically observed.

Cat's Ear tolerates a wide range of conditions and readily grows in most soil types but is not usually found in wetlands. It produces many seeds per plant per year and each seed can become a mature plant in 2 months. It is considered invasive in some areas.  In addition to reseeding itself, offsets can form.  In some locations it has displaced native species and reduced the productivity of pasture lands.  

Although a problem for horses, the plants shoots are often eaten by both wild and domesticated animals.  

Growing from a thick taproot, each plant can have from 1 to 15 stems that arise from a woody caudex.  They are erect and typically branched but leafless.

In order to distinguish this plant from others in the Aster family, there are a few distinguishing factors, such as hairy basal leaves, achenes that have long beaks that end with tufts of hairs (white), the flower stalks are typically branched and have alternate leaves, and the flowers bracts form in an overlapping fashion.  

The most efficient form of eradication is by removal of the plant below the crown in early spring.  

All parts of this plant are considered to be edible, however, typically the leaves and roots are usually harvested for consumption.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues.  

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#edible plant#yellow flowers#herbaceous#fields#herbaceous perennials#edible roots#self-seeding#edible garden#edible leaves#wildflower garden#poor soils tolerant#problem for horses#edible#perennial#weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#edible plant#yellow flowers#herbaceous#fields#herbaceous perennials#edible roots#self-seeding#edible garden#edible leaves#wildflower garden#poor soils tolerant#problem for horses#edible#perennial#weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hypochaeris
    Species:
    radicata
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Weedy perennial
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Caucasus
    Wildlife Value:
    Several varieties of bees frequent the flowers, as well as White and Sulfur butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    Leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked in stir-fries. The roots can be roasted and ground for a coffee substitute.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds have a tuft of white hair that float with the wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The pale yellow flowers each have from 20 to 30 rays and green bracts at the base. The tips of the petals have 5 small teeth along the outer edge. Blooms mid-summer to early fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Pinnatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves form as a basal rosette of dissected, densely hairy leaves up to 6 inches long and 2 inches across. The rosette span an area of 1' across. A central vein that runs the length of the underside of each leaf. In addition to the basal leaves, a few leaves may grow from the flowering stalks. The foliage, as well as the stems contain a milky latex.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The erect stems are smooth, wiry and milky.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stringhalt (back legs may have exaggerated flexion, hopping gait)
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No