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Marsh Hawksbeard

Crepis paludosa

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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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, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, 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, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, 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
Ditches, fens, gardens, grassland, marshes, meadows, mountains, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, rocky places, waterside, wetland, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
The dull orangish-yellow flowers are up to 2.5cm (1 inch) across.
The fruit is a bristly, feathery structure called a pappus. It consists of a seed surrounded by feathery hairs, similar in shape to a parachute. The pappus of the Marsh Hawksbeard is pale yellowish-brown colour.
Marsh Hawksbeard is a hairless perennial plant. The leaves are a shiny, yellowish-green. They are oval, sharply toothed and downward pointing at their bases. There are two roundish basal leaves. The upper leaves clasp the stem. Grows in damp, shady places.
Other Names:
Marsh Crepis.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Crepis paludosa, also known as Marsh Hawksbeard or Marsh Hawk's-beard, is a species of perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and North Africa, and is typically found in wetland habitats such as marshes, fens, and wet meadows. It has a rosette of basal leaves and produces a tall stem with small, yellow composite flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer. The flowers are arranged in a dense, cylindrical head, and the fruit is an achene. The plant is known for its tolerance to wet soils, and it can grow in waterlogged soils. It is not commonly cultivated, but it is sometimes used as an ornamental plant in wetland gardens. The plant is known to have medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, laxative, and to treat skin diseases.


Marsh Hawksbeard, scientifically known as Crepis paludosa, is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is also commonly known as swamp hawksbeard, marsh hawksbeard, and alpine hawksbeard. This plant is widely distributed throughout Europe and is commonly found growing in wet meadows, bogs, and swamps.

Physical Description

Marsh hawksbeard is a perennial herb that can grow up to 30-50 cm in height. It has a single stem that is erect, slender, and branched. The stem is covered with fine hairs and has leaves that are deeply lobed, toothed, and hairy. The leaves are dark green in color and can grow up to 20 cm in length.

The flowers of the marsh hawksbeard are yellow in color and grow in clusters at the top of the stem. The flower heads are composed of many small flowers, each with a tubular shape. The flowers bloom in early summer and continue until late autumn.

Ecological Importance

Marsh hawksbeard is an important plant for the ecological balance of wetland habitats. It serves as a food source for various insects and animals, such as bees and butterflies, which feed on its nectar and pollen. The plant's seeds are also an important food source for birds.

In addition, marsh hawksbeard plays a role in preventing soil erosion in wetland habitats. Its roots help to stabilize the soil, preventing it from being washed away by rain or wind. This plant also helps to retain water in the soil, which is important for the survival of other wetland plants and animals.

Medicinal Properties

Marsh hawksbeard has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties. It contains several compounds that have been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-tumor properties. The plant's roots and leaves have been used to treat various ailments, such as respiratory infections, digestive disorders, and skin problems.

However, it is important to note that the use of marsh hawksbeard for medicinal purposes should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Conservation Status

Marsh hawksbeard is not considered to be a threatened species. However, its population has declined in some areas due to habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities, such as draining of wetlands, land-use change, and urbanization.

Marsh hawksbeard is an important plant species that plays a vital role in wetland habitats. Its ecological and medicinal significance make it a valuable species for conservation efforts. We must take measures to protect and conserve this plant to ensure its continued existence for future generations.

More Information

Marsh hawksbeard is also known for its cultural significance. In traditional herbal medicine, it was used to treat a variety of ailments, including jaundice, liver and gallbladder problems, and menstrual disorders. The plant was also used by indigenous peoples in some regions for its medicinal properties.

In addition to its medicinal uses, marsh hawksbeard has also been used for culinary purposes. The young leaves and stems of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked and have a slightly bitter taste. They can be used in salads or cooked like spinach.

Marsh hawksbeard has also been used in folk medicine as a natural dye. The plant's flowers and leaves can be used to create a yellow dye, which has been used to color wool and other textiles.

Despite its ecological and cultural significance, marsh hawksbeard is not a commonly cultivated plant. It is primarily found growing in the wild in wetland habitats. However, the plant's seeds can be collected and used for propagation.

Marsh hawksbeard is also known for its potential use in ecological restoration projects. Due to its ability to stabilize soil and retain water, the plant is often used in wetland restoration efforts to help restore degraded or damaged habitats. The plant's root system can help to prevent erosion and improve soil structure, which can lead to the reestablishment of other wetland plant species.

In addition to its use in ecological restoration, marsh hawksbeard has also been studied for its potential as a bioindicator species. Bioindicator species are organisms that can be used to monitor changes in their environment, such as changes in water quality or soil composition. Marsh hawksbeard has been found to be a useful bioindicator species for wetland habitats due to its sensitivity to changes in water availability and soil nutrients.

Finally, it is worth noting that marsh hawksbeard is not the only species in the Crepis genus. There are many other species of hawksbeard, including common hawksbeard (Crepis vesicaria) and smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris), which are found in various habitats throughout the world. These species have their own unique ecological and cultural significance and are also worthy of our attention and protection.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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