FOX-AND-CUBS

[Orange Hawkweed]

Pilosella aurantiaca

Daisy Family [Asteraceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white, simple)
pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8orange
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZmany
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

20th June 2017, nr. Stanley Arms, Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 40cm high and spreads by means of long leafy runners.


22nd Aug 2007, between Conway & Llandudno, N. Wales. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are mostly all in a basal rosette - they are lanceolate. Only a few smaller ones grow on the flower stem(s). In strong sun the leaves can turn reddish to protect themselves from too much heat and sun. The whole plant (apart from the flowerhead) is covered in long white hairs. This specimen was growing in a garden and might(?) not be a genuine Fox and Cubs(?).


July. Photo: © RWD
On waste ground. Leaves sparsely covered in very long hairs, especially on the edges.


8th June 2005, Monsall Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Common in churchyards.


25th June 2005, Churchyard, Chinley, Derbyshire, Photo: © RWD
It spreads, multiplying prolifically, by a creeping root system. The flowers are redder when not fully opened.


25th June 2005, Churchyard, Chinley, Derbyshire, Photo: © RWD


25th June 2005, Churchyard, Chinley, Derbyshire, Photo: © RWD
As-yet unopened ray florets have petals which are deep red and form a ring around the cluster of yellow disc florets in the centre.


3rd June 2005, Red Rock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Wigan. Photo: © RWD
The disc florets in the centre are yellow and have styles with a double-hooked stigma atop. As yet unopened flower buds cluster beneath the open ones like fox cubs protected beneath their larger mother.


3rd June 2005, Red Rock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Wigan. Photo: © RWD
The phyllaries surrounding the flowerheads are ribbed and most have many long blackish hairs (they are blacker nearer the plant and whiter further out). The red ray florets open out and change their colour to a bright orange.


4th Oct 2005, Birchover, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD


4th Oct 2005, Birchover, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The stigmas are yellow and protrude from the yellow thin-tubular sheaths of the disc florets, curling over into a double-hook.


9th June 2009, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The bracts/sepals around the flower also have very long white hairs. The central disc florets are green to yellow when young and the ray florets forming an annulus around them are deep-red and rolled up like (tiny) fly-swatting newspapers.


9th June 2009, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Orange ray florets (which consist of 5 flowers each - count the teeth at the end - each of the 5 strips is a flower) at the periphery with shorter and shorter ones becoming yellower near the centre.Petals tipped red. The styles are long and greenish-yellow.
20th June 2017, nr. Stanley Arms, Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire Photo: © RWD
I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine...

I'll be piggy-in-the-middle.



13th June 2008, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The basal rosettes have slightly longer leaves than those of the similar Mouse-Ear-Hawkweed


4th Oct 2005, Birchover, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The seed clocks are smaller than dandelion seed clocks.


4th Oct 2005, Birchover, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
But the seeds carried by the 'parachutes' look more robust.


20th June 2017, nr. Stanley Arms, Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire Photo: © RWD
A flowering specimen where the basal leaves have grown quite long. They have long hairs, as do those of Mouse-Ear-Hawkweed


Being an orange hawkweed, this flower has uniquely identifiable characteristics. There is also a 'Yellow Fox-and-Cubs'.

Confusion: There are two sub-species of Fox-and-Cubs, ssp. auranticola which is much less abundant and ssp. carpaticola which is widespread. It is likely that all the above are of the latter sub-species auranticola. They are native to alpine Europe, growing on mountains at up to 2.6km above sea level, and were introduced to the UK as a garden plant.

The name of 'Fox-and-Cubs' refers to the way that many of the as-yet un-opened flower heads hide beneath those that have opened. The seed-head of orange hawkweed is both smaller and coarser than that of the dandelion, to which it is related.

Fox-and-Cubs is often found in churchyards and graveyards, but can equally be found in the garden.

Formerly called Hieracium aurantiaca ssp. aurantiaca and Hieracium aurantiaca ssp. carpathicola (which are Hawkweeds rather than Mouse-ear Hawkweeds).


  Pilosella aurantiaca  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
family8Daisy family8dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8hieracium genus8pilosella
Pilosella
(Mouse-ear Hawkweeds)

FOX-AND-CUBS

[Orange Hawkweed]

Pilosella aurantiaca

Daisy Family [Asteraceae]  

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