Oxtongue Hawkweed

Picris hieracioides

Oxtongue Hawkweed

Family: Asteraceae


Weed class: B
Year Listed: 1988
Native to: Europe and Asia
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

Hawkweed oxtongue is weedy in other parts of the United States and is closely related to another noxious weed in California. Only a limited amount has been found in Washington.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Hawkweed oxtongue is an annual, biennial or perennial plant with upright, branching stems reaching 1 to 2.4 feet tall. Stems have a milky juice.

Flower Description

Flower heads on short stems in spreading clusters, each one about .5 inch to .8 inch in diameter. Flower heads have yellow ray (ligulate) flowers. Flower head base is covered in bracts of unequal size, the outer ones spreading and bristly.

Leaf description

It has basal and stem leaves. Basal leaves may have stalks (petioles) and are narrow to narrowly oval with smooth or rounded teeth or lobed margins, up to 11.8 inches long. Leaf face with bristled hairs that have hooked tips. Stem leaves without stalks.

Stem description

Hawkweed oxtongue typically has one upright stem that is branched toward the top. Stems have hairs that are stiff or bristly and hair tips that are often hooked.

Fruit Seed Description

Seeds are small, about .1 inch long with 5 to 10 ribs, reddish brown in color. Seeds have a feathery pappus attached to one end to aid in dispersal.

Where does it grow?

It grows in meadows, grain fields, cultivated fields, clear cuts and waste places. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of oxtongue hawkweed in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Oxtongue hawkweed reproduces by seed.

How Do I Control It?

Mechanical Control

Hand-pulling or grubbing out small, new infestations should be effective.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our Written Findings for more information about hawkweed oxtongue (Picris hieracioides).

Pierce County NWCB Fact Sheet on Hawkweed Spp.

Control Options for Hawkweed Spp. from King County NWCB

Additional Photos