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Mouse-ear Hawkweed

Pilosella officinarum

Mouse-ear Hawkweed

This is a lovely little wildflower that spreads to form close-knit mats of leaves in dry, sunny spots.

Each plant has a small rosette of hairy ragged leaves that are dark green above but whitish and hairy underneath. They’re rounded at the tips and not toothed. The flowers are carried on long stems from the centre of these rosettes, up to 30cm tall. Each narrow and tightly packed bloom – one per stem – is like a dandelion but a paler lemon yellow in colour. They are followed by fluffy seed heads.

Distribution

Found throughout the UK, but rarer in north-west Scotland.

Habitat

Grows in dry grassy places like meadows, pastures, verges, lawns, heaths and dunes as well as waste ground.

Best time to see

When in flower, from May to August.

Mouse-ear hawkweed

Did you know?

  • The closely related fox-and-cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca) has striking clusters of reddish-orange flowers. A garden escape, it often colonises rough grassland, lawns, verges and churchyards.

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