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Leafless Hawksbeard

Crepis praemorsa

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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, 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 Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, roadsides.

Yellow, many petals
The yellow flowers appear in clusters. Individual flowers are between 1.5 and 1.8cm across. The bracts are hairless.
The fruit is a pappus.
A slightly downy perennial. Leafless Hawksbeard is a plant with long, oval leaves that are scarcely toothed. There are no stem leaves on this species of Hawksbeard.
Other Names:
Cutleaf Hawksbeard, Cut-leaved Hawksbeard, Scottish Hawkweed.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Crepis praemorsa, also known as Cutleaf Hawksbeard or Cut-leaved Hawksbeard, is a species of perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to North America and is typically found in grassland habitats such as meadows, pastures, and roadsides. It has a rosette of basal leaves that are deeply lobed, 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 less hairy than other Crepis species. It is not commonly cultivated, but it is sometimes used as an ornamental plant. The plant is known to have medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, laxative, and to treat skin diseases.


Leafless Hawksbeard, also known as Crepis praemorsa, is a fascinating plant that can be found in a variety of habitats throughout North America. As its name suggests, this plant lacks leaves, which is a unique feature that sets it apart from many other plants.

Crepis praemorsa belongs to the family Asteraceae, which is also known as the sunflower family. This family includes a wide variety of plants, including daisies, asters, and sunflowers. While most members of this family have leaves, the Leafless Hawksbeard has adapted to survive without them.

One of the most distinctive features of the Leafless Hawksbeard is its tall, erect stem. This stem can grow up to 3 feet tall and is covered in small, bristly hairs. The stem is also hollow, which is an adaptation that allows the plant to store water.

The flowers of the Leafless Hawksbeard are also unique. They are bright yellow and can be found in clusters at the top of the stem. The flowers have five petals and are surrounded by numerous small, green bracts.

One of the reasons that the Leafless Hawksbeard is able to survive without leaves is because it has adapted to rely on its stem for photosynthesis. The stem is green and contains chlorophyll, which is the pigment that allows plants to produce energy from sunlight.

Another adaptation that allows the Leafless Hawksbeard to survive without leaves is its deep taproot. This root can grow up to 3 feet deep, which allows the plant to access water and nutrients that are not available to plants with shallower roots.

The Leafless Hawksbeard is an important plant for a variety of reasons. It provides food for a number of insects and animals, including butterflies, bees, and birds. It is also used in traditional medicine by some Indigenous cultures, who use the plant to treat a variety of ailments.

The Leafless Hawksbeard is a hardy plant that can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, prairies, and mountain slopes. It is also a common plant in disturbed areas such as roadsides and abandoned fields. It is able to thrive in a range of soil types, including dry, rocky soil and moist, rich soil.

Despite its ability to survive in a range of conditions, the Leafless Hawksbeard is facing some threats. Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to this plant, as it requires large areas of undisturbed land to thrive. Invasive species and changes in climate may also impact the plant's ability to survive in some areas.

Efforts are underway to protect the Leafless Hawksbeard and its habitat. Some organizations are working to restore degraded areas and promote the use of native plants in landscaping and restoration projects. Additionally, research is being done to better understand the plant's biology and ecology, which may help to inform conservation efforts.

In addition to its ecological and cultural significance, the Leafless Hawksbeard has some interesting medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries by some Indigenous cultures to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, respiratory infections, and skin conditions. The roots and leaves of the plant are typically used in traditional medicine.

Research has shown that the Leafless Hawksbeard contains a number of compounds that may have medicinal properties. For example, the plant contains flavonoids, which are compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains sesquiterpene lactones, which have been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties.

While more research is needed to fully understand the medicinal properties of the Leafless Hawksbeard, there is growing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of this plant. Some researchers are exploring the use of the plant as a natural alternative to conventional medications for certain conditions.

In addition to its potential medicinal uses, the Leafless Hawksbeard is also a popular plant for use in landscaping and gardening. Its unique appearance and hardiness make it an attractive choice for xeriscaping and other low-water landscaping styles.

Overall, the Leafless Hawksbeard is a fascinating and important plant that has played an important role in ecosystems and cultures throughout North America for centuries. Whether you are interested in its ecological significance, medicinal properties, or landscaping potential, there is much to appreciate about this unique and resilient plant.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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