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Narrow-leaved Hawkweed

Hieracium umbellatum

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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 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 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
Fields, grassland, heathland, meadows, mountains, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland, wetland, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
The flowers of Narrow-leaved Hawkweed in the UK exhibit a vibrant and cheerful appearance. Each flower features a brilliant yellow hue, and they are arranged in clusters resembling an umbrella. The blossoms form in an attractive manner, creating a visually appealing display. The petals are delicately shaped, and their bright coloration, coupled with the clustered arrangement, adds to the overall charm of Narrow-leaved Hawkweed flowers. These blooms typically emerge in late spring to early summer, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the British floral landscape.
The fruit of Narrow-leaved Hawkweed in the UK consists of small, dry seeds known as achenes. These achenes are the result of the plant's reproductive process and are often dispersed by the wind. The fruits are relatively inconspicuous compared to the bright and showy flowers, yet they play a crucial role in the plant's life cycle. Each achene contains the genetic information needed for the development of a new Narrow-leaved Hawkweed plant, contributing to the species' ability to reproduce and spread in various habitats across the UK. The fruit ripens from August to October.
Very narrow, strap-like, smooth and hairless leaves. The leaves alternate along the stems and are stalkless, often clasping their stems. The stem is sometimes tinged purple. Perennial.
Narrow-leaved Hawkweed in the UK is not typically known for having a distinctive fragrance. Unlike some flowering plants that are cultivated for their aromatic blooms, hawkweeds, including Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, are primarily appreciated for their visual appeal rather than any notable scent. The focus on this plant often revolves around its vibrant yellow flowers and the overall beauty it adds to natural landscapes, rather than any aromatic qualities. As such, the fragrance of Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is not a prominent characteristic associated with this particular species.
Other Names:
Northern Hawkweed, Pale Hawkweed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Hieracium umbellatum, also known as the pale 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 basal rosette of leaves and yellow flower heads that bloom from June to September. It is considered an invasive species in some parts of North America, and can form dense stands that outcompete native vegetation. It is also considered a noxious weed in some areas.


Narrow-leaved Hawkweed (Hieracium umbellatum) is a herbaceous plant native to Europe, but now found in North America and other parts of the world. It is a member of the Asteraceae family, which includes daisies and sunflowers. This plant is also commonly known as the small-flowered hawkweed, and it is a perennial that blooms in late spring or early summer.

Physical Characteristics

Narrow-leaved Hawkweed has long, narrow leaves that grow in a basal rosette, which means they grow in a circular pattern at the base of the plant. The leaves are dark green and have a slightly hairy texture. They can grow up to 15 centimeters long and 1.5 centimeters wide. The stem of the plant can grow up to 50 centimeters tall, and it bears one or more small, yellow flowers that are about 1 centimeter in diameter. The flowers bloom in clusters or umbels at the top of the stem, which is where the plant gets its Latin name "umbellatum."

Habitat and Distribution

Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is commonly found in grasslands, meadows, and open forests, and it prefers well-drained soils. It can be found in Europe, North America, and other regions of the world, but it is considered an invasive species in some areas. It is most commonly found in the western United States, where it is found from Alaska to California.

Ecological and Cultural Significance

Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is an important food source for many insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. Its nectar provides an important source of energy for these insects, and its pollen helps to fertilize other plants in the area. However, the plant is also considered an invasive species in some areas, where it can outcompete native plant species and disrupt local ecosystems.

In traditional medicine, Hawkweed has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, coughs, and fevers. It has also been used as a diuretic and astringent.

Conservation and Management

Because Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is considered an invasive species in some areas, efforts are being made to manage its spread and control its population. This can include the use of herbicides or manual removal of the plant. In some areas, biological control methods, such as the introduction of natural predators or parasites of the plant, are also being used to help manage its spread.

Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is a beautiful plant with an interesting history and cultural significance. While it is an important food source for many insects, it is also considered an invasive species in some areas, and efforts are being made to manage its spread and control its population. By learning more about this plant, we can better understand its ecological and cultural significance and work to protect and preserve its unique characteristics.

More Information about Narrow-leaved Hawkweed

Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, like many other invasive species, can be challenging to manage and control. Its ability to outcompete native plant species and disrupt local ecosystems can have significant ecological impacts. This is why it's essential to take a proactive approach to invasive species management and work to prevent their spread in the first place.

One way to prevent the spread of Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is to limit the disturbance of natural areas where it is present. This can include avoiding activities such as off-road vehicle use, logging, and other land management practices that can disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem. Additionally, it's important to practice good sanitation practices, such as cleaning your shoes and equipment before moving between different areas, to prevent the inadvertent spread of invasive species.

Education is also an essential component of invasive species management. By raising awareness about the impact of invasive species on local ecosystems, we can encourage people to take action to prevent their spread. This can include providing information on how to identify invasive species, how to report sightings, and what steps individuals can take to prevent their spread.

It's important to support research on invasive species management and control. By investing in research, we can better understand the factors that contribute to the success of invasive species, develop new methods for control and management, and ultimately work towards more effective strategies for preventing their spread and protecting our natural ecosystems.

In addition to its ecological and cultural significance, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed has also been the subject of scientific research. For example, a study published in the journal Plant Ecology found that Narrow-leaved Hawkweed had a positive effect on soil microbial diversity in alpine meadows. The study suggested that the plant's root exudates played a role in promoting microbial diversity and may have contributed to the health and productivity of the ecosystem.

Another study published in the journal BMC Ecology found that Narrow-leaved Hawkweed had a positive effect on butterfly abundance and diversity in alpine meadows. The study suggested that the plant's nectar provided an important food source for adult butterflies and that its presence may have contributed to the success of local butterfly populations.

While invasive species management can be challenging, there are success stories. In New Zealand, for example, a comprehensive approach to invasive species management has led to the successful eradication of several invasive plant species, including Hawkweeds. The approach involved a combination of public education, early detection and rapid response, and targeted control methods, such as the use of herbicides and biological control agents.

Overall, the management and control of invasive species like Narrow-leaved Hawkweed require a coordinated and proactive approach. By working together and investing in research, education, and management strategies, we can protect our natural ecosystems and minimize the negative impacts of invasive species on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being.

30 Facts About Narrow-leaved Hawkweed

  1. Scientific Name: Hieracium umbellatum is commonly known as Narrow-leaved Hawkweed.
  2. Family: It belongs to the Asteraceae family.
  3. Habitat: Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is often found in meadows, open woods, and grassy areas.
  4. Native Range: It is native to North America.
  5. Appearance: The plant features narrow, lance-shaped leaves, which give it its name.
  6. Flowers: The flowers are bright yellow and form in umbrella-like clusters.
  7. Blooming Season: Narrow-leaved Hawkweed typically blooms in late spring to early summer.
  8. Reproduction: It reproduces both by seed and by runners.
  9. Height: It can grow up to 2 feet in height.
  10. Invasive Nature: Some species of Hawkweed are considered invasive in certain regions.
  11. Ecological Role: It provides habitat and food for various insects and butterflies.
  12. Adaptability: Narrow-leaved Hawkweed is adaptable to a variety of soil types.
  13. Perennial: It is a perennial plant, returning year after year.
  14. Sun Requirements: It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
  15. Soil Preference: Well-drained soil is ideal for Narrow-leaved Hawkweed.
  16. Wildlife Interaction: Deer and rabbits may graze on the leaves of this plant.
  17. Medicinal Uses: Traditionally, Hawkweed has been used in herbal medicine for various ailments.
  18. Folklore: In some cultures, Hawkweed is associated with divination and magical properties.
  19. Conservation Status: Depending on the region, some species of Hawkweed may be considered threatened or endangered.
  20. Growth Habit: It has a rosette growth habit with basal leaves.
  21. Alpine Environments: Some species of Hawkweed are adapted to alpine environments and can be found at high elevations.
  22. Cultural Significance: Hawkweed may have cultural significance in indigenous traditions.
  23. Pollination: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
  24. Seed Dispersal: Seeds are often dispersed by wind.
  25. Leaf Arrangement: The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem.
  26. Vegetative Reproduction: It can spread through stolons or runners, creating new plants.
  27. Genus Characteristics: Hawkweeds belong to a large and diverse genus, Hieracium.
  28. Leaf Edges: The edges of the leaves may be smooth or slightly toothed.
  29. Fruit Type: The fruit is an achene, a small, dry seed.
  30. Conservation Challenges: In some areas, invasive Hawkweed species pose challenges to native plant communities.


Narrow-leaved Hawkweed filmed at Ainsdale in Lancashire on the 10th September 2023.


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