Mouse-Ear Hawkweed

Mouse-Ear HawkweedThis large family (Asteraceae), commonly called the Aster Family, consists of 1,314 genera and 21,000 species of herbs, shrubs, climbers and a few trees is found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions.  The Aster family is of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. The name of this genus Hieradium is from the Greek Hierax meaning ”a hawk”.  Ancient people believed that Hawks used the plants in this genus to strengthen their eyesight. Mouse-Ear Hawkweed is a troublesome weed that grows in dry pastures and sandy soil. Mouse-Ear Hawkweed has been used since the Middle Ages.  In his Irish Herbal (1735), K’Eogh summarized its medical benefits: “good against the spitting of blood, all kinds of flow, cough, ulcers of the lungs, mouth and eyes and shingles.” More recently we have learned that Mouse-Ear Hawkweed contains coumarin, flavonoids and caffeic acid.  It is thought to be effective against respiratory problems including asthma, whooping cough, and bronchitis.  This plant also has astringent and diuretic actions.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Hieracium pilosella

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized from Europe

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

8 inches, forming carpet

FruitingTime:

July to late October

Distribution:

Throughout the United States ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Mid May to October, mostly in June

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Long slender rhizomes (underground stems) and stolons (creeping stems on the surface of the ground) ~ Basal leaves oblong, hairy ~ Leaves from stolons similar but smaller ~ Heads solitary, hairy ~ Flowers bright yellow