Monday, June 17, 2019

Looks Like a Dandelion: Narrowleaf Hawksbeard

Below are a few identification notes.  Plants in the aster family have unique flowers (though familiar) with a vocabulary all their own.  I've tried to avoid using these technical terms and keep my notes very simple.

A.  On the left is a Dandelion flower head.  On the right is a Narrowleaf Hawksbeard flower head.    Each petal on both plants is a complete, or perfect flower with stamens and a pistil. 

B. Two layers of hairy bracts

C. Leaves changed size and shape as they ascend the stem.  Bottom of the picture corresponds to botrtom of the plant.

D. Leaves often have a pair of wings at their base.

If you want more details on Narrowleaf Hawksbeard, or want to dive deep into Aster terminology, consult the following sources.

Flora of North America at eFloras

Plants of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Minnesota Wildflowers

I also like to consult the "The New Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora" by Henry A. Gleason, Ph.D.   Volume 3 has the Aster family in it.