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.
€1,50 – €11,75
Polish name: bristly hawkbit
Latin name: Leontodon hispidus
Family: the asters Asteraceae, subfamily: chicories Cichorioideae
Status in Poland: native, common
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.
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.
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, 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.