Species

Pilosella officinarum

Etymology

Pilosella: Softly hairy

Common Name(s)

hawkweed, mouse-ear hawkweed

Authority

Pilosella officinarum F.Schultz & Sch.Bip.

Family

Asteraceae

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

NVS Species Code

PILOFF

The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites

Synonyms

Hieracium pilosella L.

Habitat

Terrestrial. A plant of lowland, montane and subalpine habitats. Grows in sites with low to moderate fertility but appears to prefer moderate fertility. Shrubland, tussockland, cliff, bluff, riverbed and herbfield communities.

Features

Perennial herb with rosettes and stolons 5-10 cm tall. Leaves 2.5-5 by 0.6-1.5 cm, glaucescent green above with white felt-like underside. Single yellow flower head per rosette, outer flower rays with red stripe.

Similar Taxa

Pilosella officinarum is distinguished from other species by its large solitary pale yellow capitula and the dense stellate pubescence on stolons and beneath leaves.

Flowering

October, November, December, January, February

Flower Colours

Yellow

Fruiting

November - April - (May)

Year Naturalised

1878

Origin

Europe, N. and C. Asia

Reason For Introduction
Accidental

Life Cycle Comments
Perennial. The hermaphrodite flowers are probably apomictic (produces viable seed without fertilisation) in New Zealand.

Reproduction
Vegetative reproduction occurs through the production of rosettes by stolons (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Seed
Seed is prolifically produced at approximately 1000/dm squared but it is probable that no seed bank is formed (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Dispersal
Seed is dispersed by gravity and wind.

Tolerances
The plant is tolerant of drought; intolerant of shade; highly tolerant of frost and slightly tolerant of poor drainage. Highly tolerant to physical damage and grazing. Requires low to medium soil fertility.

This page last updated on 18 Feb 2012