CAT'S-EAR

Hypochaeris radicata

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

Flowers:
month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white)
pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct pappus8nov

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8orange
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZMany
stem
stem8round

6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 60cm high in sparse groupings on short turf and other grassy places.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Un-like Dandelions, the stems can branch and are not hollow.


11th Sept 2007, Hollingworthall Moor, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Full frontal.


11th Sept 2007, Hollingworthall Moor, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The stems are smooth and hairless as they are on Smooth Cat's-ear (which has smooth leaves instead).


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The outer ray florets have an orange/reddish stripe on the outside, but so do several other flowers (but never Dandelions).


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Rarely fully open, the flower has numerous deep-yellow ray florets, and a small grouping of disc-florets in the centre.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Only fully opens in bright sunlight.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The most distinctive feature are the small number of short scale-like bracts up the little-branched leafless stems.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Sepals of differing length.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The sepals and outer ray-florets have chaffy scales.


11th Sept 2007, Hollingworth Moor, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Closed-up; chaffy scales on red-tipped bracts.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Without leaves on the stem the only leaves are in a basal rosette. Leaves have rounded lobes.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves are covered in longish white hairs. Mid-rib may be tinged purple.


6th June 2011, extinct railway embankment, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Long white hairs and well-rounded lobes.


27th July 2012, near Croston, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The pappus or seed-clock is an off-white light-brown colour.


27th July 2012, near Croston, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva), a member of the Cantharidae Family to which the poisonous Spanish Fly also belongs. It hunts mainly for small insects on flowers on either plants of the Umbellifer Family (Apiaceae or Daisy & Dandelion Family (Asteraceae) to which Cat's-ear belongs.


A FASCIATED EXAMPLE

 Mutations Menu

27th July 2012, near Croston, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A fasciated example of Cat's-ear, a genetic aberration where the flower is either doubled or extended.


Usually mistaken for : Dandelion which looks similar but has a hollow stem amongst numerous other differences.

Hybridizes with : Smooth Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris glabra) to produce Hypchaeris × intermedia

Some similarities to : Smooth Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris glabra) but that has smooth shiny leaves on the top surface and ray florets only twice as long as are wide (in Cat's-ear the ray florets are 4x longer than are wide) and also to Spotted Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris maculata) but that has dark blotches on the leaves. Neither are as ubiquitous in the UK as Cat's-ear and neither are present in the area where these photographs were taken.

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].

Cat's-ear is by far the most common Cat's-ear and grows in short grass. Usually about a foot tall and similar to Dandelion, the major difference being the short bract-like scale (shaped like a cat's ear) just below the flower head. The flower-heads are solitary atop a little-branched and smooth stem without stem leaves. The only leaves are in a basal rosette and are dandelion type but with rounded lobes, and with longish white rough hairs.

The outside of the outer ray florets has an orange or reddish stripe, just like Smooth Hawk's-Beard, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Beaked Hawk's-beard and Great Lettuce do.


  Hypochaeris radicata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Hypochaeris
Hypochaeris
(Cat's-ears)

CAT'S-EAR

Hypochaeris radicata

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

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