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Glabrous-headed Hawkweed

Hieracium vagum

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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, 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 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, 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:
60 centimetres tall
Meadows, roadsides, rocky places, towns, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
A many-branched flower spike with yellow dandelion-like flowerheads. Differs from New England Hawkweed (Hieracium sabaudum) in that it's bracts are more or less hairless.
The fruit is an achene with a pappus attached to the end, similar to the fruit of a dandelion.
A perennial plant with oval leaves that have very short-toothed margins.
Other Names:
European Hawkweed, Savoy Hawkweed, Wandering Hawkweed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Hieracium vagum, also known as the wandering hawkweed, is a perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia and can be found growing in meadows, pastures, and rocky slopes. The plant has a basal rosette of leaves and yellow flower heads that bloom from May to August. It is considered an invasive species in some parts of North America.


Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Hieracium vagum, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to North America. It belongs to the family Asteraceae and is known for its distinctive bright yellow flowers, which bloom from May to August. The plant is also known by several other common names, including Smooth-headed Hawkweed, Yellow-flowered Hawkweed, and King Devil.


Glabrous-headed Hawkweed grows up to 2 feet tall and has a basal rosette of leaves at the base of the stem. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and have toothed edges. The stem is smooth and usually unbranched, with one or more flowers at the top. The flowers are bright yellow and measure about 1 inch in diameter. They have 13 to 21 ray flowers, each with 5 toothed petals, surrounding a central disk of many tiny tubular flowers. The plant produces numerous small, fluffy seeds that are easily dispersed by wind.

Habitat and Distribution

Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is found in a variety of habitats, including open woods, fields, meadows, and along roadsides. It prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate some shade. The plant is native to North America and is found throughout much of the United States and Canada. It has also been introduced to several other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, where it is considered an invasive species.


Glabrous-headed Hawkweed has some medicinal uses. The plant contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-microbial properties. The leaves and roots of the plant have been used in traditional Native American medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including sore throats, wounds, and stomach problems.

However, caution should be exercised when using this plant medicinally. Glabrous-headed Hawkweed contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. It is therefore recommended that the plant not be used internally and only be used topically under the guidance of a qualified herbalist or health practitioner.

Conservation Status

Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is not considered a threatened species at present. However, it is listed as a noxious weed in some states and is considered an invasive species in several countries, including Australia and New Zealand. The plant can form dense mats that outcompete native vegetation, reducing biodiversity and altering ecosystems. Therefore, it is important to control the spread of this plant and prevent it from becoming a major problem in new areas.

Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is a beautiful plant with bright yellow flowers that can be found in a variety of habitats throughout North America. While it has some medicinal uses, caution should be exercised when using it, as it contains toxic compounds. The plant can also be invasive in some areas, so it is important to control its spread and prevent it from becoming a problem.

More Information

In addition to its medicinal and ecological importance, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed also has cultural significance. It has been used in traditional Native American ceremonies and is considered a sacred plant by some tribes. The plant's bright yellow flowers are said to symbolize the sun and its healing powers.

Despite its potential benefits and cultural significance, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is also considered a threat to agriculture and natural ecosystems. It is an aggressive plant that can rapidly spread and dominate native vegetation. Its presence can reduce the biodiversity of an area and alter the ecosystem. Therefore, it is important to control its spread and prevent its introduction to new areas.

Control measures for Glabrous-headed Hawkweed include manual removal, chemical control, and prevention of seed dispersal. Manual removal involves physically digging up the plant and its root system. Chemical control involves the use of herbicides to kill the plant. However, caution should be exercised when using herbicides, as they can also harm non-target species. Prevention of seed dispersal involves preventing the plant from producing seeds, either by cutting off the flower heads or by covering the plant with a mesh or cloth.

Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is a beautiful and culturally significant plant that has both medicinal and ecological importance. However, it is also an invasive species that can pose a threat to native ecosystems. Therefore, it is important to use caution when using this plant medicinally and to prevent its spread to new areas.

In addition to being a threat to native ecosystems, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed can also impact agriculture. The plant can compete with crops for resources, reducing yields and increasing production costs. It is therefore important for farmers and landowners to be aware of the presence of Glabrous-headed Hawkweed and to take steps to control its spread.

One way to prevent the spread of Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is to plant native vegetation that can outcompete the plant. This can help restore biodiversity and maintain ecosystem health. Additionally, raising awareness about the plant and its potential impact can help prevent its spread and facilitate its control.

Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is just one example of the many invasive species that can impact natural ecosystems and agricultural production. Invasive species are a major threat to biodiversity and can cause economic and environmental damage. It is therefore important to prevent their introduction and control their spread.

In conclusion, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed is a plant with both positive and negative impacts. While it has medicinal and cultural significance, it is also an invasive species that can threaten native ecosystems and agricultural production. It is important to use caution when using the plant medicinally and to take steps to prevent its spread to new areas. Control measures should be implemented to manage the plant's impact on ecosystems and agriculture.