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Lance-leaved Hawkweed

Hieracium stictum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Grassland, heathland, mountains, rocky places, walls.

Yellow, many petals
Clusters of dandelion-like flowers, each with several rows of sepal-like bracts.
Pappus, not beaked. White or pale brown.
Broad to lanceolate, pointed, alternate leaves. Slightly toothed (wide apart and pointed).
Other Names:
Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Straight-branched Hawkweed, Yellow Devil.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Hieracium stictum, also known as the narrow-leaved hawkweed, is a perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia, and is known for its small yellow flowers and narrow leaves. It is commonly found in grassland, heathland and rocky areas. The plant is edible and has been used traditionally in some cultures as a medicinal herb. It can also be used as a ground cover plant.


Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Hieracium stictum, is a perennial plant species native to Europe but found in other parts of the world, including North America. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and is commonly known as the "yellow devil" due to its aggressive nature and the difficulty of controlling its spread.

Appearance and Identification

Lance-leaved Hawkweed has a basal rosette of leaves that are oblong or lance-shaped, measuring 3-10 cm long and 1-2 cm wide. The leaves have a smooth texture and are dark green with prominent veins. The plant produces a single stem that grows up to 50 cm tall, topped by clusters of bright yellow flowers. Each flower head contains 10-25 ray flowers and several disk flowers.

The plant can be easily identified by its yellow flowers and lance-shaped leaves. However, there are several other hawkweed species that closely resemble it, making accurate identification important.

Habitat and Distribution

Lance-leaved Hawkweed thrives in disturbed areas such as roadsides, fields, pastures, and meadows. It can also be found in forests, alpine regions, and along riverbanks. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but it prefers well-drained, nutrient-poor soils.

The plant is native to Europe but has become naturalized in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. It was likely introduced to these regions as a garden plant or through contaminated soil, hay, or seed.

Ecological Impacts

Lance-leaved Hawkweed is a highly invasive species that can outcompete native plants for resources and quickly colonize new habitats. Its ability to spread via wind-dispersed seeds and vegetative reproduction makes it a formidable competitor. The plant has been reported to form dense monocultures that can displace native vegetation and reduce habitat quality for wildlife.

The impacts of Lance-leaved Hawkweed on ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and soil structure are not well understood, but it is suspected that the plant's dominance can alter these processes. Additionally, the plant's dense growth can impede human activities such as agriculture and recreation.

Control and Management

Due to its invasive nature, controlling Lance-leaved Hawkweed is a challenging task. Preventative measures such as minimizing soil disturbance and avoiding the use of contaminated hay or soil can help reduce its spread.

Manual control methods such as hand-pulling or cutting the plants can be effective for small infestations, but it requires regular monitoring and persistence. Herbicides can also be used to control the plant, but it requires careful application to avoid harming non-target species.

Lance-leaved Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species that poses a threat to native ecosystems. Its aggressive nature and ability to quickly colonize new habitats make it a difficult species to control. Preventative measures and early detection are critical for managing this plant, and effective control methods require careful planning and implementation.

More Information

Lance-leaved Hawkweed, also known as Hieracium stictum, is a member of the Asteraceae family and is closely related to other invasive hawkweed species such as Orange hawkweed and Mouse-ear hawkweed. The plant's scientific name, Hieracium stictum, translates to "pointed hawkweed," referring to its lance-shaped leaves.

The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine as a treatment for various ailments, including digestive issues and respiratory illnesses. However, its efficacy has not been scientifically proven, and the plant should be used with caution due to its potential toxicity.

Lance-leaved Hawkweed is known to produce allelopathic compounds that can inhibit the growth of other plants. This may give it a competitive advantage over native species, further contributing to its invasive nature.

Despite its negative impacts, Lance-leaved Hawkweed is an attractive plant and is sometimes used in gardens and landscaping. However, its invasive nature and potential to spread make it unsuitable for these purposes, and its use is discouraged.

In conclusion, Lance-leaved Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species that poses a threat to native ecosystems. Its aggressive nature and ability to quickly colonize new habitats make it a difficult species to control, and effective management requires a combination of preventative measures and control methods. Awareness and early detection are crucial in preventing the spread of this plant, and its use in gardens and landscaping should be discouraged.