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Rough Hawksbeard

Crepis biennis

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, 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:
1 metre tall
Fields, grassland, meadows, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
The inflorescence is a cluster of up to 14 golden yellow flowerheads. The flowers each measure between 2 and 3.5cm across. Flower stalks are slender. The petals are not tinted red beneath like some other similar species are. Flowers have 5 stamens each.
A flat, glossy achene with ridges, up to 8mm in length.
The stem leaves are stalked but the upper leaves are not. Basal leaves are also present. The leaves are deeply lobed and reminiscent of those of dandelion. The end lobe is the largest and the lobes point backwards towards their bases.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Crepis biennis, also known as rough hawksbeard, is a species of perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to North America, Europe and Asia and is typically found in grassland habitats such as meadows, pastures, and roadsides. 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 hardy and easy to grow, it can tolerate poor soils and dry conditions. The stem and leaves of the plant are covered in fine white hair giving it a hairy appearance. It is not commonly cultivated, but it is sometimes used as an ornamental plant. The plant is biennial and flowers in its second year.


Rough Hawksbeard, scientifically known as Crepis biennis, is a flowering plant species that belongs to the family Asteraceae. This species is native to Europe and has been introduced in several other regions, including North America. It is a biennial plant that grows up to 3 feet tall and produces yellow flowers.

The leaves of Rough Hawksbeard are basal and have a rough texture, which gives the plant its name. The stem is also rough and hairy, and it branches out towards the top. The flowers are yellow, and they bloom from June to August. They are arranged in clusters at the top of the stem, and each flower head has multiple small flowers that form a composite flower.

The plant is common in disturbed areas, such as roadsides, fields, and pastures. It can also grow in forests and along stream banks. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun exposure. Rough Hawksbeard is a good source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

Rough Hawksbeard has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The plant contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It has been used to treat various ailments, including arthritis, bronchitis, and digestive issues. However, it should be noted that the plant can be toxic in large quantities, and it is important to seek medical advice before using it for medicinal purposes.

The plant is also used in traditional herbal medicine as a diuretic and as a remedy for skin conditions. It is also used in cosmetics and skincare products due to its antioxidant properties.

Rough Hawksbeard is also known for its culinary uses. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have a bitter taste. The roots are also edible, and they have a sweet and nutty flavor. However, the plant should be consumed in moderation as it can be toxic in large quantities.

Rough Hawksbeard is a fascinating plant species with multiple uses in traditional medicine, cosmetics, and culinary arts. While it can be a beneficial plant, it is important to exercise caution when using it for medicinal or culinary purposes. If you are interested in exploring the uses of Rough Hawksbeard, it is advisable to seek advice from a qualified expert.

Rough Hawksbeard is also known for its ecological importance. As a member of the Asteraceae family, it provides an important source of nectar for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and other insects. The seeds of the plant are also consumed by birds and other wildlife.

However, Rough Hawksbeard can also be considered a weed in some regions, particularly in North America, where it has been introduced. It can compete with native vegetation and reduce biodiversity. Therefore, it is important to manage the plant carefully in areas where it is invasive.

Rough Hawksbeard is a hardy plant that can tolerate drought and harsh environmental conditions. It can be propagated by seeds or by root division. However, it is important to prevent the plant from spreading in areas where it is invasive.

Rough Hawksbeard is a versatile plant that has multiple uses in traditional medicine, cosmetics, culinary arts, and ecology. While it can be a beneficial plant, it is important to be aware of its potential toxicity and manage it carefully in areas where it is invasive. As with any plant or herb, it is advisable to seek advice from a qualified expert before using Rough Hawksbeard for any purpose.

Rough Hawksbeard has also been studied for its potential therapeutic effects in treating certain medical conditions. Some studies have found that the plant has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. The compounds found in the plant have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in animal studies, and may have potential in treating conditions such as arthritis.

Additionally, Rough Hawksbeard has been used in traditional medicine for its potential diuretic effects. Some studies have suggested that the plant may have a mild diuretic effect, which could be useful in treating conditions such as edema.

However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential therapeutic effects of Rough Hawksbeard. It is important to note that while the plant may have potential in treating certain medical conditions, it should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical treatments without the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Overall, Rough Hawksbeard is a fascinating plant species with a long history of use in traditional medicine and other areas. While there is still much to learn about the plant, its potential benefits make it an interesting subject for further research and study.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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