The late summer plant resembles a common dandelion. Autumn hawkbit is a honey plant that provides bees with pollen, and nectar. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.
€4,00 – €16,75
Polish name: autumn warts-healer
Latin name: Leontodon autumnalis L. (syn. Scorzoneroides autumnalis Moench.)
Family: the asters Asteraceae (the composites Compositae), subfamily: chicory Cichorioidae
Status in Poland: native, common
The low or medium-high perennial plant with highly branched and arching stems, which distinguishes it from the related bristly hawkbit.
It produces underground rhizomes and above-ground flower stems. The leaves are inconspicuous, reduced to scales on flower shoots, pinnatisect and simple but coarsely serrated close to the ground.
The inflorescences are typical for the family and subfamily, i.e. yellow heads on tops of shoots, emerging in numbers from 1 to 7 per one shoot, composed of only ray flowers. They open in the morning on warm days and dry. They close in the time of rainfall and after noon. The heads of the autumn hawkbit protect the short ciliated involucres olive gray-green or almost blackish.
The fruits of this perennial are cylindrical, deeply wrinkled red-brown achenes, slightly tapering towards the apex, dispersed by the wind due to the pappus. On one head is usually from 160 to 235 achenes.
It prefers fertile, acidic, low-calcium substrates.
It has great potential as a component of urban flower meadows, flower margins in orchards and bee pastures, because it tolerates soil salinity and overfertilization, drought, trampling and quite frequent mowing.
Young delicate leaves, stems, and heads can be eaten despite the bitter sap they contain. Hawkbits, like many other composite ones, played a significant role during economic blockades, wars, and natural disasters, replacing coffee and leaf vegetables.
In the case of the autumn hawkbit there are no data regarding honey yield.
However, it can be quite a good forage species, just like its bristly cousin which produces abundantly both pollen, and nectar.
Late flowering is an additional advantage, for these reasons many other Asteraceae were brought to Europe, such as the American species of goldenrod or cup plant.