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English Hawkweed

Hieracium anglicum

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.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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, 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 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
Cliffs, meadows, mountains, rocky places.

Yellow, many petals
Clusters of yellow, dandelion-type flowers. The flowers are fewer but larger than most other Hawkweed species. Flowers measure approximately 3cm across. Some flowers have dark bracts which curve inwards.
The fruit is similar to that of a dandelion. It is a pappus with a ring of feathery hairs at one end.
Nearly all leaves are basal leaves. The few stem leaves that there are slightly clasp the stem. Found mainly in Scotland, North Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Hieracium anglicum, also known as the English hawkweed, is a perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and can be found growing in meadows, pastures, and rocky slopes. The plant has basal rosette of leaves and yellow or orange flower heads that bloom from June to September. It is a small plant, growing to around 50cm tall. It is not considered an invasive species or a noxious weed. The plant is also known for its medicinal properties, it has been used in folk medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as skin conditions, wounds and rheumatism.


English Hawkweed, scientifically known as Hieracium anglicum, is a species of flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and western Asia, and it has been introduced to North America, where it is considered an invasive species.

English Hawkweed is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 50 cm in height. It has dark green leaves that form a basal rosette and hairy stems that bear small yellow flowers in clusters. The flowers bloom from June to August and attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

English Hawkweed is a common plant in meadows, pastures, and disturbed areas, such as roadsides and railway embankments. It prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate a wide range of pH levels. It is a hardy plant that can withstand drought and cold temperatures, making it a successful invader in many parts of the world.

English Hawkweed is known for its medicinal properties. The plant contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and diuretic effects. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as arthritis, rheumatism, and kidney disorders. However, the plant can also be toxic in large doses, and caution should be exercised when using it for medicinal purposes.

Despite its medicinal uses, English Hawkweed is considered a noxious weed in many regions. It can outcompete native plants and reduce biodiversity, leading to ecological imbalances. The plant spreads rapidly through its seeds, which can be dispersed by wind, animals, and human activities. Once established, it can be difficult to control, and its presence can have significant economic and environmental impacts.

English Hawkweed is a highly adaptable plant that can survive in a variety of conditions. It has a long taproot that enables it to access deep water and nutrients in the soil. The plant can also reproduce vegetatively through stolons, which allows it to spread rapidly and form dense mats.

The plant's ability to adapt to different environments has made it a successful invader in many parts of the world. In North America, English Hawkweed has spread across the continent, particularly in the northeastern United States and Canada. The plant is also found in parts of Australia and New Zealand, where it is considered a major threat to native biodiversity.

Efforts to control English Hawkweed have focused on both chemical and mechanical means. Herbicides can be effective in controlling the plant, but they can also harm native vegetation and other non-target species. Mechanical methods, such as digging up the plants, can be labor-intensive and may not eradicate the entire plant.

In some regions, biological control methods have been used to manage English Hawkweed populations. These methods involve introducing natural enemies, such as insects or fungi, that target the plant and reduce its growth and reproduction. However, the use of biological control methods requires careful consideration to avoid unintended consequences and ensure the safety of native species.

English Hawkweed is an interesting and complex plant that has both positive and negative effects on the environment. Its medicinal properties have been recognized for centuries, but its invasive nature can have significant impacts on native ecosystems. As such, it is important to continue to study and monitor the plant's behavior and take measures to manage its spread and impact on the environment.

English Hawkweed has been the subject of scientific research, and studies have shown that the plant contains a variety of bioactive compounds. These compounds have been found to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties, among others. The potential health benefits of English Hawkweed have led to increased interest in its use in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

However, the widespread use of English Hawkweed in these industries could have negative consequences for the environment. Increased demand for the plant could lead to more extensive harvesting, which could deplete wild populations and disrupt ecosystems. As such, it is important to balance the potential benefits of English Hawkweed with the need to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

In addition to its medicinal properties, English Hawkweed has also been used for culinary purposes. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have a slightly bitter flavor. The plant has been used in traditional dishes in some parts of Europe, such as Italy and Austria. However, caution should be exercised when consuming English Hawkweed, as some species can be toxic.

In conclusion, English Hawkweed is a fascinating plant with a complex set of characteristics. While its medicinal properties and culinary uses are of interest, its invasive nature and potential impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity are cause for concern. As such, continued research and monitoring are necessary to ensure that the plant's benefits are balanced with the need to protect the environment.