Information on Fox-and-cubs

Common Name: Fox-and-cubs
Scientific Name: Pilosella aurantiaca
Irish Name: Searbh dhearg
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Fox-and-cubs is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Also known commonly as Orange Hawkweed and Hieracium aurantiacum, this is one Hawkweed which is more easily identified than many of the others of that genus. This is because of its startlingly bright, orange flowers which grow in clusters on stems with blackish hairs. The flowers (15-30mm ) are in tight clusters of up to ten and are composed of ray florets only. The leaves are lanceolate, also hairy and are in a basal rosette. The plants grow on roadside verges and banks and flower from June to August. This is an introduced plant belonging to the†Asteraceae family.

I first identified this plant in Ardrishaig in Scotland in 1994 and photographed it in Piercestown, Co Wexford in 2006.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Fox-and-cubs
Fox-and-cubs

Also known as Devilís Paintbrush and Grim-the-collier, this plant is now considered an invasive species or noxious weed in many areas of North America, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. It is extremely difficult to eradicate it as not only is it propagated by wind-sown seeds but it also has a very efficient underground root system with stolons growing by as much as 30cm in one season.