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


Leontodon taraxacoides (Lesser Hawkbit)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Leontodon
Species: L. taraxacoides
Binomial name: Leontodon taraxacoides
Common name: Lesser hawkbit

Leontodon taraxacoides is a species of hawkbit known by the common name lesser hawkbit. It is native to Europe and North Africa . It is a perennial weed often confused with dandelion and several other weed species which also have yellow flowers and look quite similar. Hawkbit grows in pastures and lawns, especially where the soil fertility is fairly low as it can tolerate these conditions well. It has a deep tap-root which allows it to continue growing actively during dry periods when grasses around it have browned off. It  grows patches of many erect, leafless stems from a basal rosette of leaves. Atop the stems are solitary flower heads which are ligulate, containing layered rings of ray florets with no disc florets. The florets are yellow with toothed tips. The fruit is a cylindrical achene with a pappus of scales. Fruits near the center of the flower head are rough, while those growing along the edges of the head are smooth.

The flower of the Lesser hawkbit


The plant structure

The leaves