[Members of the Sunflower Family with Dandylion-like Flower Heads]

Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear

Hypochoeris radicata

Flower head of Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear: Hypochaeris radicata

The photo above shows the dense cluster of ray flowers that makes up the flower head of rough cat's-ears. Photographed at Babyshoe Pass on the northwestern slopes of Mt. Adams..................August 6, 2005.

Characteristics:

Somewhat dandelion-like, false dandelion has lobed leaves similar to the common dandelion, although the former has narrower lobes and a rough, hairy texture to the leaf surfaces. Individual leaves are oblanceolate, toothed/lobed or pinnatifid, with the leaves 3-35 cm long and 5-70 mm wide. The several stems are slimmer than those on the common dandelion, and not noticeably hollow. The stems arise from 15-60 cm tall, and are commonly branched, each branch ending with a single flower head.

The flower heads consist of numerous yellow ray flowers. Several flower heads may be found on the branched stems. The involucral bracts are not curved downward as is the case in common dandelions.


Habitat:

False dandelion is an indicator plant of disturbed places, such as lawns and pastures, and occasionally into drier, waste places.


Range:

A native of Europe, false dandelion is now a widespread weed over much of the United States and southern Canada, although it is rarer east of the Cascade Mts.

It is found in disturbed areas throughout much of the gorge, but is not as common as a number of other weedy species.


 

Involucral bracts and underside of the ray flowers of Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear: Hypochaeris radicata

The photo above shows the rusty-tinged ventral surface of the ray flowers of rough cat's-ear. Note that at least on this sample, the outer series of rays are somewhat burnt-orange in coloration and narrowly lined with yellow along the ray margins.

Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear: Hypochaeris radicata

A view of false dandelion as seen on disturbed soils at Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge...................May 10, 2009.

Inflorescence of Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear: Hypochaeris radicata

The branched, leafless stems measure up to 50 cm high and typically bear several flowerheads.

Upper basal leaf surface of Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear: Hypochaeris radicata

The photo above shows the upper surface of the pinnately lobed basal leaf which can be up to 15 cm long.

Hairs of basal leaf of Hairy Cat's-ear, False Dandelion, Rough Cat's-ear: Hypochaeris radicata

The photo above shows a close-up side-view of the same leaf, showing the numerous spreading hairs on both leaf surfaces.

Paul Slichter