Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)

Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)
Photo by Jim Schultz
Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)
Photo by Bonnie Rasmussen
Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)
Photo by Bonnie Rasmussen
EDRR Species?: 
Yes

Other common names
Devil's paintbrush

Description
Perennial with above-ground runners (stolons) that root at the tips. Roots are shallow and fibrous. The plant grows up to 12 inches tall and contains milky juice. The vibrant orange-red flowers are clustered at the top of a leafless stem. Stiff, black, glandular hairs cover flower stalks. Leaves are hairy, lance-shaped, up to five inches long, and exclusively basal.

Impacts
Once established, hawkweed quickly develops into a patch that continues to expand until it covers the site with a solid mat of rosettes. A dense mat of hawkweed plants has the potential to eliminate other vegetation. It displaces native vegetation, posing a serious threat to native plant communities, and can dominate pastures, lawn and roadsides. It is unpalatable and crowds out more desirable species. This invader weed from Europe thrives in poor, non-cultivated and disturbed soils. It occurs in native meadows, gravel pits, forest openings, permanent pastures, roadsides and hayfields. It prefers well-drained, coarse-textured soils that are moderately low in organic matter. Hawkweeds do not persist in cultivation.