Information on Beaked Hawk's-beard

Common Name: Beaked Hawk's-beard
Scientific Name: Crepis vesicaria
Irish Name: Lus cúráin gobach
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Beaked Hawk's-beard could sometimes be confused with:

Sowthistle, Smooth, Sowthistle, Perennial, Hawkbit, Lesser, Hawkbit, Autumn, Hawk's-beard, Smooth,

This is one of the many yellow members of the Asteraceae family which many (myself included) find extremely difficult to tell apart. A good hand lens helps tremendously. The word ‘beaked’ means that the achenes are all long-beaked, that is the stalk which connects the ‘parachute’ to the plant is long. Usually a hairy plant, its flowers (15-30mm across) have golden-yellow ray florets, the rear of which are red striped. The flowers are held in loose clusters or corymbs on upright stems, sometimes reaching to 80 cm though usually shorter. The rear of the flower has 2 rows of hairy bracts, the short outer row spreading. The stems are furrowed, sometimes purplish, and usually roughly hairy. The leaves can be very hairy or hairless, broadly lobed. This is not a native plant, it flowers from May to July, is a biennial and is found more frequently in the southern half of Ireland. It grows on verges, wasteground and in pastures.  

I found this plant in 2015 on waste ground at Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford. I am grateful to Paul Green for confirming the identification. Paul is the BSBI’s Vice-county Recorder for Waterford and Wexford. 

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

Hawk's-beard, Beaked
Hawk's-beard, Beaked