T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Crepis vesicaria (Beaked hawksbeard)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Eudicots
(unranked):        Asterids
Order:        Asterales
Family:      Asteraceae
Tribe:         Cichorieae
Genus:       Crepis
Species:     C. vesicaria
Binomial name: Crepis vesicaria
Common name: Beaked hawksbeard

Crepis vesicaria is a European species of flowering plant in the daisy family. It is native to the eastern and southern Europe from Ireland and Portugal east as far as Germany, Austria, and Greece. It classed as a weed in New Zealand and can be found growing in Grassy areas, waste places, roadsides, banks and sandy clearings.

Crepis vesicaria is an hairy annual, biennial herb up to 120 cm tall, producing a large underground caudex (rootstock). The stems are branched with dandelion like leaves. The stem’s base can have a red tinge. The basal leaves deeply pinnate, with the end lobe the being the largest. The lower leaves are stalked and the middle ones clasp the stems with pointed lobes. The smaller upper leaves can be toothed or un-toothed. The uppermost leaves are linear and bract like. The flowers buds are erect with slightly hairy bracts below. The flowers are yellow with up to 70 ray florets. There are no disc florets. The outer florets are usually striped red/brown on the undersides. Each plant can have as many as 20 flower heads.
The fruits (achenes) have long, slender beaks.