Irish wildflowers

Hieracium agg.
Lus na seabhac
Family: Asteraceae

Hawkweeds form a large group of perennial plants that are very difficult to distinguish between. They are divided into different groups or 'sections', seven of which are found in Ireland. Many micro-species are recognised within the sections.
H. anglicum (section Cerinthoidea) is the most common Irish microspecies.

All are perennials with yellow flowers, several rows of sepal-like bracts.
Basal leaf-rosettes are present or absent depending on the species. Erect stems, more or less leafy. Tap roots. Height to 1m, depending on species.

They occur in a range of habitats, but prefer poor, dry ground. Dry heaths and grassland, walls, dry banks, rocky ledges, roadsides. Most are native.

Mouse-eared Hawkweed, Pilosella officinarum (below centre)
and Orange Hawkweed / Fox-and-cubs, P. aurantiaca (below right) are very distinctive. They were previously in the Hieracium group Pilosella.


Photographs immediately above: Hawkweed. Coombaugh, Comeragh mountains, Co. Waterford. July 2009

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