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
USDA Code: HIAU
Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List A
Notify your county weed supervisor if you find this plant!
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
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.