Bristly hawkbit

Low native perennial with flower resembling a dandelion. The bristly hawkbit is an edible plant, and pollinators are also fond of it. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.

SKU: N047

1,5011,75

About the  species

Polish name: bristly hawkbit

Latin name: Leontodon hispidus

Family: the asters Asteraceae,  subfamily: chicories Cichorioideae

Status in  Poland:  native, common

Durability:
perennial plant
Flower color:
yellow
Height:
about 30 cm
Flowering:
June-October

Morphology

Low- or medium-high perennial with  unbranched, single or multiple stems, long to  10-60 cm, clearly thickened under the inflorescence. Laticifers are present in  the whole specimen.

It produces two types of leaves: scaly under the inflorescence, and  trophophylls on  the stem. Trophophylls overgrown with stellate hairs, hence gray-green in color, less often bare.

Inflorescence in  form of one per  shoot yellow flower head, compound of  uniform flowers. The bristly hawkbit is erect only in  the moment of flowering. It opens his flower heads during the day from 5 am to  3  pm, later closed.

The fruits of this perennial are achenes  with brownish or dirty white pappus. The number of chromosomes 2n = 14.

Additional information

Sowing

The bristly hawkbit prefers bright, fertile places, and it can withstand even very alkaline, moving, or over fertilized soils.

It grows in  hay meadows, pastures, fallow land, neglected city lawns, post-industrial waste heaps, and  roadsides with  very various humidity. In  the highlands, and  in the mountains enters as a pioneer on  screes, gentle slopes, and  bare alkaline rocks.

Interesting facts

Flower heads and leaves can be eaten despite the sap contained in them. Hawkbits, like many other Asteraceae, played a significant role in the period of wars, and economic blockades as substitutes for coffee and lettuce. Leaves and heads are eagerly eaten by cattle, especially of older breeds, hard stems they rather avoided.

In the twentieth century, several forms of the bristly hawkbit, mainly from the mountains and highlands of Western Europe and Persia, were described as separate subspecies, and even minor species. Later common-garden experiments did not confirm the sense of distinguishing these varieties and species.

Bristly hawkbit in seed mixtures:

Use Value

Bristly hawkbit, which grows spontaneously in a hay meadow, provides bees with twice as much nectar as any annual plant. It should therefore be promoted as food for pollinators, and not controlled as a weed.

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