Not to be confused with : Goat's-beard (Tragopogon pratensis) [another Daisy and Dandelion Family plant with similar name].
There are actually two species with the same common name Beaked Hawk's-beard:
Both of these have 'beaked' seeds (i.e. they have a pedestal)
- Crepis vesicaria An erect (to 80cm) hairy perennial which is common in the UK south of Leeds, less so in Wales and is the one depicted above. The stem leaves are auriculate, clasping the stem with auricles each side, and which are sharply and deeply lobed. The seeds are shaped like a baseball bat and are much longer (at 5-9mm including the beak) than those of C. tectorum
- Crepis tectorum This one is much less common and has had its common name changed to that of
Narrow-leaved Hawk's-beard to avoid confusion, and is found in only 4 hectads, all south of Newcastle. An erect annual of similar height (75cm) but less hairy. The stem leaves are entire to sinuately (wavy) toothed. The seeds are curved like a boomerang or banana and (at 2.5mm-4mm long) are much shorter than those of C. vesicaria.
The above photographs are of the former.
Some similarities to : Cat's-ear (but that has smooth semi-glossy hairless leaves),
Rough Hawkbit (but that has single un-branched stems with a single flower atop),
Rough Hawk's-beard (but that is taller with deeply lobed dandelion-type leaves with stalks on the stem) and Bristly Oxtongue (but that has a single row of very wide sepal-like bracts below the sepals, as well as pimples on the leaves where bristles emerge).
Hawk's-beards tend to have a basal rosette of deeply-lobed dandelion-type leaves but they are easily distinguished from other similar plants such as
Hawkweeds and Cat's-ears by their double row of spreading sepal-like bracts below the sepals.
Beaked Hawk's-beard inhabits waste places, grassy places, rough ground, waysides and walls. It was established in 1713 and is now naturalised and still spreading northwards. The stem is often reddish. It has a few stem leaves which clasp the stem and are deeply lobed. The basal leaves are few in number, deeply lobed, and with a red mid-rib. The Dandelion-type flowers have a red stripe visible on the underside of the outer ray florets, but so do a few other Dandelion-type flowers such as Smooth Hawk's-Beard,
Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Cat's-ear and Great Lettuce.
Broken stems ooze a bluish-white milky latex.