PO Box 419

Hotchkiss, CO 81419



fax: 720-880-3051



Orange hawkweed

Hieracium aurantiacum


Keys to Identification

  • Orange hawkweed is a perennial member of the Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
  • It likes moist grassy areas and can be found along creeks, in meadows, and along rights-of-way
  • Reproduces by runners and by seed
  • Each bright orange flower is between 1/2 to 1 inch wide. They are grouped at the top of a slender stem and tend to close up when it is shady, making the plants difficult to see
  • Hairy leaves are found at the base of the plant
  • Orange hawkweed is found in only a few places in Colorado and is on the A List, requiring eradication

This information courtesy of the Colorado Natural Areas Program


Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)


Other Names: Devil's paintbrush




Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List A

Notify your county weed supervisor if you find this plant!




Lifecycle: Perennial


Growth form: Forb


Flower: Orange in groups of up to 13 at the end of stem. June-July.


Seeds/Fruit: With papus


Leaves: Basal. Dark green hairy.


Stems: Fine, leafless. 1-2 ft tall with stiff hairs


Roots: Fibrous spreading with stolons at nodes


Seedling: Seedling leaves have bristly hairs



Similar Species

Exotics: Yellow hawkweed


Natives: Native hawkweeds and false dandelion




Agricultural: Infests hay fields, animals will not feed


Ecological: Forms mats that prevent other plants from growing



Habitat and Distribution

General requirements: Likes shady areas. Can be found in grassy areas, moist pastures, stream banks.


Distribution: Found in a number of counties in Colorado in small populations. Also found throughout northern US


History: Native to Europe



Life cycle: Perennial plants form rosettes in spring and early summer, spread primarily through stolons. Plants flower in June-July


Mode of reproduction: Seed, stolons, rhizomes


Seed production: Each stem may produce thousands of seeds


Seed bank: Not known


Dispersal: Wildflower seed mixes, wind, water and possibly animals





Callihan, R.H., L.M. Wilson, J.P. McCaffery, T.W. Miller, 1997. Hawkweeds. Pacific Northwest Extension Publication 499. Cooperatively published by the University of Idaho Cooperative Extension, Oregon State Cooperative Extension Service, Washington State Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds.. 1997. Wisconsin Manual of Control Recommendations for Ecologically Invasive Plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources. Madison, Wisconsin.. 102pp.


Whitson, T.D. (Ed.) et al.. 1996. Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with Cooperative Extension Services, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming. 630pp.


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