Identifying Hawkweeds

Do you have a sharp “Hawk-eye” for identifying Hawkweeds?

The first step is to know the differences between orange and yellow hawkweeds. There is only 1 species of orange hawkweed.  This is easily identified by its bright orange cluster of flowers.

For yellow hawkweeds, it should be known that there are native and invasive hawkweeds found in BC.

So far in BC, there are 8 known different native species of hawkweeds and 12 species of invasive yellow hawkweeds.

It is not important to know the differences between all of the species of yellow hawkweed. It is important to be able to recognize the tell-tale signs of the hawkweed plant compared to other plants you may see in the area.

    1. First of all, the yellow flowers do look like the following plants: dandelions, hawksbeard, goat’s beard, and sow thistles.
    2. These yellow flowers grow in clusters at the top of a single/unbranched stem.
    3. The stems contain a milky fluid and are covered in black hairs.
    4. The leaves are found at the base of the stem if the plant is invasive. Native hawkweeds have true leaves all the way up their stems.

About Hawkweeds

Orange Hawkweeds:

PREVENTION:

Manage pastures to maintain healthy plant communities.
Seed bare soils to adapted perennial grasses or
grass/legume mixtures.
Clean footwear, clothing, equipment, and tires after recreating or working in infested areas.
PURCHASE “plantwise” garden ornamentals.
PURCHASE weed free hay, soil, seed mixes, and gravel.

MANAGEMENT:

Control small patches early to prevent expansion.
Carefully dig rosettes.
Removal of flower stems prevents seed production.
A multi-step approach to crop management including cultivation, crop rotation, and herbicide application
is recommended.

MAJOR THREAT:

to pastures, meadows, roadsides, and lawns.

Yellow Hawkweeds

PREVENTION:

Fertilizer and soil fertility management is important to prevent hawkweeds from invading.
Seed bare soils to adapted perennial grasses or
grass/legume mixtures.
Clean footwear, clothing, equipment, and tires after recreating or working in infested areas.
PURCHASE weed free hay, soil, seed mixes, and gravel.

MANAGEMENT:

Control small patches early to prevent expansion.
Cultivation of fields and rotation to an annual crop with chemical application is effective.
Spring treatment of herbicide is recommended.

MAJOR THREAT:

to pastures, meadows, roadsides, and lawns.

 

Why are hawkweeds something to watch for?

    1. Hawkweeds have economic and ecological impacts to our region. They form dense mats of leaves that outcompetes edible plants in hayfields and pastures.
    2. Invasive hawkweeds will replace native vegetation in open areas such as meadows, and disturbed areas, such as roadsides. This is a threat to biodiversity.

 

 

Report a Hawkweed

Contact the PRRD

Send a detailed description of the infestation along with a picture that includes the following to prrd.dc@prrd.bc.ca:

  • Overall Appearance
  • Location
  • Surroundings
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Stem

Download the PRRD Weed Reporting Form

Use the ‘Report-A-Weed’ App

Download the Report-A-Weed App. Ensure that a photo is included in the submission for confirmation of identification. The Report A Weed App is available on both Andriod and iOS devices.

For more information about the Report A Weed program, visit reportaweedbc.ca