Hieracium gronovii L.

Beaked Hawkweed


CC = 4
CW = 5
MOC = 63

© SRTurner

Family - Asteraceae/Cichorieae

Habit - Perennial forb with a short, usually erect or ascending rootstock, rarely with a short, spreading rhizome, with milky sap.

Stems - Erect, mostly solitary, to 85 cm, moderately to densely pubescent, at least toward the base, with light orangish brown, spreading to loosely ascending hairs 4-9 mm long having a bulbous or slightly expanded base, these sometimes becoming sparse or nearly absent toward the tip, usually also inconspicuously pubescent with cobwebby, minute, branched hairs, often also with sparse, gland-tipped hairs toward the tip.

Hieracium_gronovii_lower_stem.jpg Lower stem.

© DETenaglia

Hieracium_gronovii_stem.jpg Lower stem.

© SRTurner

Hieracium_gronovii_upper_stem.jpg Upper stem.

© DETenaglia

Leaves - Basal and alternate, simple, entire, sessile to short-petiolate. Basal leaves with the blade 3-20 cm long, narrowly oblanceolate to obovate, rounded to sharply pointed at the tip, the surfaces and margins pubescent with sparse to moderate, spreading, bulbous-based hairs and often also sparse to moderate, minute, inconspicuous, branched hairs. Stem leaves sometimes few and basally disposed, sometimes several and well spaced, similar to the basal leaves but gradually reduced in size, more often sessile, oblong-obovate to oblanceolate, the uppermost with the base often slightly clasping the stem.


© DETenaglia

Hieracium_gronovii_basals2.jpg Basal leaves in situ.

© SRTurner

Hieracium_gronovii_leaf1.jpg Basal leaf adaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Elongate cylindrical panicles or racemes of flowering heads.

Hieracium_gronovii_inflorescence1.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Heads - Ligulate. Involucre 6-9 mm long, the inner series of bracts narrowly oblong-lanceolate, pubescent with inconspicuous, cobwebby, branched hairs and sometimes also longer, spreading, usually dark-colored, gland-tipped hairs, the outer series much less than 1/2 as long as the inner series.

Hieracium_gronovii_heads.jpg Flowering heads.

© SRTurner

Hieracium_gronovii_flower.jpg Flowering heads.

© DETenaglia

Hieracium_gronovii_involucre.jpg Involucre.

© DETenaglia

Flowers - Ligulate florets 20-40. Corollas 7-9 mm long, 5-6 toothed at apex, light yellow to yellow. Pappus bristles 4-5 mm long, light yellowish to orangish brown. Style yellow, bifurcate, 1 cm.

Hieracium_gronovii_florets.jpg Ligulate florets.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Achenes 2.5-4.0 mmlong, narrowly ellipsoidal, somewhat tapered, beakless. Tips slightly but noticeably expanded. Pappus bristles typically brownish.

Hieracium_gronovii_fruits.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - May - October.

Habitat - Upland forests, ledges and tops of bluffs, glade borders, pastures, fields, roadsides.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - H. longipilum, H. scabrum; more broadly, many other species in the Cichorieae tribe, such as species of Crepis, Hypochaeris, and others.

Other info. - This plant is distinctive and tough to miss in the wild. It is common across the southestern half of Missouri, and most of the southeastern quadrant of the continental U.S. Oddly, it is considered a noxious weed in West Virginia. The scabrous leaves and long cylindrical inflorescences of yellow ligulate heads make it easy to ID. The amount and type of pubescence can vary greatly, as can be seen in the stem photos above. The plant bleeds milky sap if injured.

A closely related species, somewhat less common, is Hieracium scabrum. This differs by having a leafier stem, greater number of florets in each head (40-100), and fruits with unexpanded tips. H. longipilum foliage has very long hairs, most over 1 cm long.

Hawkweeds were once used as an herbal medicine believed to improve eyesight.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 8-11-02 (DETenaglia); also at Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln County, MO, 8-16-2010, Greensfelder Park, near Pacific, St. Louis County, MO, 9-22-2012, and Young Conservation Area, Jefferson County, MO, 7-27-2013 (SRTurner).