Hypochaeris glabra

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

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Pappus: pappusZpossible (white)
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9th June 2010, Mottistone, Isle of Wight Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Usually grows from 10-20cm high (up to 40cm), being usually shorter than the much more common Cat's-ear. Flower solitary atop a stem, but stems may be numerous, there are four (all shorter at the moment) emanating in different directions from the basal rosette from this specimen (and possibly a much newer 5th). Listed as being vulnerable to extinction.

9th June 2010, Mottistone, Isle of Wight Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The stem is smooth and hairless with a smattering of short, often reddish, triangular scales. (The leaves at the bottom are nothing to do with Smooth Car's-ear).

9th June 2010, Mottistone, Isle of Wight Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The inflorescence at the top is surrounded by often reddish-tipped phyllaries. The flower doesn't open as much as Cat's-ear and is usually much smaller, sonatinas very small! Flower head diameter at top is just 4-15mm across with the ray-florets only being about twice as long as they are wide (as opposed to four times as long in Cat's-ear). The ray-florets are about the same height as the longest phyllaries (as opposed to the often much longer ray-florets of Cat's-ear). The flower only open fully in the full sun in the morning. The phyllaries around the flower also lack the tiny 'cockscomb' of tiny short bristles at their tips as possessed by Cat's-ear. The stem hardly swells before abruptly adjoining the flower-head.

9th June 2010, Mottistone, Isle of Wight Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Although shorter than Cat's-ear, the stem usually sprawls over much more. Like Cat's-ear there are no leaves on the stem, all the leaves are in the basal rosette at the bottom.

9th June 2010, Mottistone, Isle of Wight Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The basal rosette often with reddish leaves. There is a second, much shorter, flowering stalk growing from the centre of this one. Lowest leaves longer and broader than the next overlain layer.

Easily confused with : Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris radicata); read captions for differences. More similarities to : Lesser Hawkbit (Leontodon saxatilis) which also has wide bracts around the flower, but that also has a few much shorter and much narrower bracts on top of those wide bracts.

Hybridizes with : Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris radicata) to produce Hypochaeris x intermedia which is intermediate between the two regarding the flower-head, but which opens in both sunny or dull weather. It is less than 5% fertile and occurs in Merioneth and Fife, possibly other places too where it might be over-looked.

No relation to : Catmint, Catnip, Lamb's-Ear, Sticky Mouse-ear, Common Mouse-ear, Little Mouse-ear, Sea Mouse Ear or Sickle Hare's-ear nor to the numerous Cat's-tail grasses. [plants with similar names].

It is listed as a rare [R] and vulnerable to extinction, but is less rare than is Spotted Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris maculata).

The far rarer Spotted Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris maculata) is a rare [RRR] and has leaves which are usually either spotted or streaked with purple with the outer phyllaries usually uniformly hairy.

It grows on sparse grassland or bare ground, on poor acidic sandy soils and on dunes.

  Hypochaeris glabra  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

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Hypochaeris glabra

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]