Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Mouseear Hawkweed: Hieracium pilosella

Weed Description:  A perennial weed from stolons that has a basal rosette of hairy leaves and yellow flowers that resemble dandelion.  Mouseear hawkweed is primarily a weed of turfgrass, lawns, pastures, hayfields, and roadsides that is found throughout the northeastern United States and as far south as North Carolina.
Leaves:  Elliptic in outline, approximately 1 1/4 to 4 inches long, reaching 3/4 inches in width.  All leaves have a distinctive white midveing and are covered with long white hairs.

Roots:  Stolons and a fibrous root system.

Flowers:  Produced on a long, leafless flower stalk (scape) that are covered with stiff dark hairs.  Flowers occur in clusters of at least 2 on the top of the flower stalks and are bright yellow in color.   Flowers resemble those of dandelion.

Fruit: An achene.

Identifying Characteristics:  The rosette of hairy leaves and bright yellow flowers that occur on the ends of the leafless flower stalks are both characteristics that help in the identification of mouseear hawkweed.   Common Catsear (Hypochoeris radicata) is also similar in appearance and growth habit, however this weed has leaves that are slightly lobed and only slightly hairy unlike those of mouseear hawkweed.