Biennial species rich in pollen and nectar. It blooms long time and is an excellent forage for both honey and wild bees. The rough hawksbeard prefers sunny places. It grows well in heavy, loamy and fertile soils.
Wild, non-cultivar seeds.
€1,75 – €8,50
Polish name: biennial hawksbeard
Latin Name: Crepis biennis L.
Family: the aster family Asteraceae (the composites Compositae), subfamily (Cichorioideae)
Status in Poland: native, very common
A medium- or large size biennial plant that gives the impression of a perennial.
It is characterized by firmly erect, branchy at the top, alternate spiral foliaged stems.
The leaves of the rough hawksbeard are characterized by great variability, even on one and the same specimen it may not be two identical. The lower leaves are usually petioled, incisure and pinnate, while the upper leaves are sessile, full-margined or at most shallowly indented.
Inflorescences in the form of golden heads with a diameter of 25-35 mm, made of only ray flowers and phyllaries, develop on the tops of the stems from June to September, even October. Single flowers are golden, without a trace of red color, protandric, pollinated by insects or forming seeds without pollination by the so-called apomixis. Phyllaries of C. biennis grow in two rows, with the leaves in the first row protruding and are covered with felted hair, which gives them a gray color, while the second row of leaves is adjacent to the inflorescence and is bare. A group of several, or over a dozen heads form a second-order inflorescence in the biennial rough hawksbeard in the form of a panicle or an umbel.
The fruit are acuminate brown achenes with 10-13 costals, with a flight apparatus. The bristles of the pappus of this species are whiter and more pliable than its relatives.
The rough hawksbeardhas just recently started to be cultivated as an ornamental and honey species for urban flower meadows and naturalistic beds inspired by traditionally used wet meadows and wetlands.
It prefers sunny locations, on heavy, loamy and fertile soils. It tolerates moderate trampling and mowing.
The seeds are sometimes gather as feed for canaries and other small ornamental birds.
The great variety of leaf shapes, and stem hair and color have long suggested to botanists that the rough hawksbeard is not a single species, but a multitude of hardly distinguishable but separate species and their hybrids. Study of the number of chromosomes of C. biennis confirmed the presence in Europe of genetic lines differing in the basic number of chromosomes. The existence of a significant number of distinct genetic lines, including lines with an odd number of chromosomes, is due to the formation of seeds by apomixis, from only the tissues of the parent specimen, and without the pollen of the other specimen.
The rough hawksbeard is a good bee forage plant, offering both pollen and nectar to honey bees and solitary bees, appreciated by modern beekeepers for their long flowering.