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Yellow Fox and Cubs

Pilosella caespitosa

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 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 Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, riverbanks, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, walls, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
A dense cluster of dandelion-like flowerheads. Flowerheads measure about 1cm across and there are anything up to 40 flowerheads per cluster.
The fruit is an achene which is a seed tipped by feathery hairs, similar to that of a dandelion.
A garden escape species with glaucous leaves. The leaves are hairy and narrowly oblong. Nearly all leaves form a basal rosette. The stems and (few) stem leaves are both covered in black hairs. Yellow Fox and Cubs is a deciduous perennial species.
Other Names:
Devil's Paintbrush, Field Hawkweed, King Devil, Meadow Hawkweed, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Yellow Devil, Yellow Hawkweed, Yellow King-devil, Yellow Paintbrush.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Pilosella caespitosa, also known as Field Hawkweed or Mouse-ear Hawkweed, is a perennial herb that belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe, but can also be found in North America and other parts of the world as an introduced species. The plant has a distinctive mat-forming habit and forms dense clusters of small rosettes of leaves. The leaves are typically hairy and have a basal rosette. The small yellow flowers are produced in clusters on tall stems in the summer and early fall.

Pilosella caespitosa is a hardy plant and can grow in a variety of soil types and conditions, including rocky or sandy soils. It is also tolerant of drought and can grow in full sun or partial shade.

Like many other members of the genus, P. caespitosa have been used in traditional medicine. Its leaves and flowers have been used to make tea, which is said to have diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. However, it is important to note that the safety and effectiveness of using Pilosella caespitosa for medicinal purposes have not been scientifically established and it is always a good idea to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before starting any new treatment program.

It's a common invasive species in some regions, in particular in North America and New Zealand. It competes with native plants and can alter the ecosystem, therefore it might not be advisable to plant it. If it is already present on your land, eradication or controlling the plant might be necessary.


Yellow Fox and Cubs, also known as Pilosella caespitosa, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and can be found growing in rocky habitats, meadows, and open woodlands. Yellow Fox and Cubs is an interesting plant that has many unique characteristics and is valued for its beauty and medicinal properties.

Appearance and Characteristics

Yellow Fox and Cubs is a small plant that typically grows to a height of 10-30 cm. It has a basal rosette of leaves that are hairy and narrow, and the leaves can be up to 20 cm long. The plant produces a single stem that is hairy and has a few leaves. The stem ends in a single flower head that is bright yellow in color and looks like a daisy. The flower head is about 2 cm in diameter and is surrounded by several narrow, green bracts. The plant blooms from June to September.

The plant has a taproot that helps it survive in harsh and rocky environments. Yellow Fox and Cubs is a self-fertile plant, which means that it can reproduce by self-pollination. The seeds of the plant are light and can be easily carried by the wind.


Yellow Fox and Cubs has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The plant contains several compounds that have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and diuretic properties. It has been used to treat various ailments such as digestive disorders, urinary tract infections, and skin diseases.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Yellow Fox and Cubs is also valued for its beauty. The plant is often used in rock gardens, as it is able to thrive in rocky soil. Its bright yellow flowers add a splash of color to any garden and attract bees and other pollinators.

Threats and Conservation

Yellow Fox and Cubs is not considered a threatened species, but it is protected in some countries due to its rarity or because it is considered to be of cultural or historical significance. In some areas, the plant is threatened by habitat destruction due to human activities such as construction and mining.


Yellow Fox and Cubs, Pilosella caespitosa, is a beautiful and interesting plant that is valued for its medicinal properties and beauty. It is a hardy plant that can survive in rocky and harsh environments, and it is important to protect it from threats such as habitat destruction. Whether you are a gardener or someone interested in herbal medicine, Yellow Fox and Cubs is a plant worth knowing about.

More Information

Yellow Fox and Cubs is also known for its ability to colonize disturbed sites and improve soil stability. Its taproot system can help to prevent soil erosion and improve the quality of the soil. It is also able to grow in areas with poor soil quality and can help to improve the overall health of the ecosystem.

One interesting fact about Yellow Fox and Cubs is that it is considered an invasive species in some areas, such as New Zealand and North America. The plant was introduced to these areas as an ornamental plant, but it has since spread and is now considered a threat to native plant species.

In terms of cultivation, Yellow Fox and Cubs is a relatively easy plant to grow. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it can also grow in partial shade. It is a low-maintenance plant that does not require a lot of watering or fertilizing.

In addition to its medicinal and ornamental uses, Yellow Fox and Cubs also has cultural significance in some areas. For example, in Norway, the plant is associated with midsummer celebrations and is sometimes used to decorate wreaths.

Another interesting aspect of Yellow Fox and Cubs is its taxonomy and genetic diversity. The species has a complex taxonomic history, with many different varieties and subspecies recognized by different authorities. Recent genetic studies have helped to clarify the relationships between different populations of Yellow Fox and Cubs, and have revealed high levels of genetic diversity within the species.

This genetic diversity is important for the long-term survival and adaptation of the species, especially in the face of changing environmental conditions. It also has implications for the conservation and management of the species, as different populations may have unique adaptations or characteristics that are important for their survival.

Yellow Fox and Cubs is also an important food source for some animals, including rabbits and deer. The plant's bitter taste and hairy leaves help to deter some herbivores from eating it, but others are able to tolerate these defenses and feed on the plant.

In conclusion, Yellow Fox and Cubs is a fascinating plant with many interesting characteristics and uses. From its medicinal properties to its role in soil stabilization and genetic diversity, this species has much to offer both scientists and nature enthusiasts. However, it is also important to be aware of the potential impacts of introduced populations and habitat destruction, and to work to protect and conserve this valuable plant species.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map