Catsear, flatweed

Hypochoeris radicata

Stems and Leaves: The first leaves (cotyledons) are club-shaped, with a round apex, and hairless. The mature leaves grow to 15 to 20cm long. The leaves are arranged in a basal rosette and are hairy with toothed or irregularly lobed margins. The basal leaves are obovate in shape and are 5-20cm long and 10-40mm wide with toothed margins that are deeply wavy. The basal leaves are also densely hairy, rarely glabrous (without hairs or scales), and are sessile (without a stalk). The upper leaves if present are similar and reduced in size as they go up the stem. Leaves emit a milky sap when broken. It has leafless flower stalks (scapes) with 2 to 7 flowers on each stalk. The flower stalks also emit a milky sap when broken.

Flowers and Fruit: The flowerheads (capitula) are solitary on branched stems. The flowerheads are up to 5-15mm in diameter with bracts 2.5cm long and yellow ligulate florets. The achene (a dry indehiscent 1-seeded fruit) is orange-brown and is 4-7mm long, has fine, toothed ribs and a long slender beak 7-10mm long that carries two rows of pappus (hairs) that are 8-14mm long which aid in dispersal by wind. Flowers spring-autumn.

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