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Photo Credit: Nicole Kimmel, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

Common Name: Meadow Hawkweed

Scientific Name: Hieracium caespitosum

Habitat: grassland, grassland dry, grassland wet, roadsides

Provincial Designation: Prohibited Noxious

Prohibited Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated in the Alberta weed regulation. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed when found, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.


Meadow Hawkweed is native to all parts of Europe. Hawkweeds were introduced to North America for ornamental and medicinal purposes in the late 1800s.

Legislated Because

Meadow Hawkweed invades grassland and quickly forms dense mats of rosettes(circles of leaves directly from the ground) that prevent other plants from growing.


Ten or more yellow "dandelion-like" flowers are arranged in a cluster at the top of the stem.

The bright green to yellow-green leaves are lance-shaped or spoon-shaped and located at the base of the plant. The leaves have both long and short hairs and the leaf margins are either smooth or minutely toothed.

Each plant has a single stem that is erect, hairy, and grows 20-70 cm tall. The plant has stolons, but they might be short or inconspicuous (stolons - also called runners - are slender stems that grows along the ground, growing roots, and making new plants).

Can Be Confused With

Many yellow-flowered members of the Aster family of plants (composite flowers - like dandelions).  Hairs are an important characteristic of non-native hawkweeds
and also in distinguishing between invasive species.  No native species of Hawkweed produces stolons.

  • Mouse-Ear Hawkweed - Pilosella officinarum 
  • Orange Hawkweed - Pilosella aurantiaca - but who cares - they’re all noxious weeds!

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Identification


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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