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Pilosella officinarum

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Hieracium pilosella
Phonetic Spelling
py-loh-SEL-ah oh-fiss-in-AY-rum
Description

Mouse-ear hawkweed is a perennial weed in the Asteraceae (daisy) family native to Europe but it has spread rapidly and aggressively to North America.  It is found growing in meadows, disturbed sites, or in lawns reaching 8 inches tall and wide.

It resembles a dandelion but with lighter yellow flowers.  The leaves are also different– they are covered with hairs, resembling a mouse's ears, and grow close to the ground.  It spreads by above-ground runners (stolons), or through its wind-dispersed seeds often growing in large colonies. 

It grows in well-drained to dry depleted soils and is not bothered by heat or humidity making it able to take over and displace native plants easily.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant is weedy and aggressive and is listed as invasive in OR, WA and MN.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#mat#colonies#wind dispersed seeds#disturbed areas#hairy leaves#lawn weed#perennial weeds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#mat#colonies#wind dispersed seeds#disturbed areas#hairy leaves#lawn weed#perennial weeds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pilosella
    Species:
    officinarum
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and northern Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees feast on the nectar, while other insects lay their eggs on the leaves and stems. Eaten by rabbits.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 8 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 8 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • 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)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1" single yellow dandelion-like flower, sometimes two or three flowers. Bracts covered with stiff, long hairs and glands. Stalk is 8".
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Felty silver-grey foliage forms a low rosette with leafy stolons. No stem leaves. Basal leaves are 1-5 in. and oblong, white woolly below.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    No leaves on stems
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Allelopathic
    Weedy