Crepis runcinata (Fiddle-leaf Hawksbeard)

Plant Info
Also known as: Incised Hawk's-beard, Naked-stemmed Hawksbeard
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; moist soil; meadows, prairie swales
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:8 to 24 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals Cluster type: flat Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flower] Open cluster of up to 12 dandelion-like flowers at the top of the stem. Individual flowers are yellow, about 1 inch across with 20 to 50 rays (petals) that have 5 small teeth at the tip.

[photo of phyllaries] There are 2 sets of bracts. The 10 to 15 inner bracts (phyllaries) are about 3/8 inch long, lance-linear, usually sharply pointed at the tip. The outer surface is variously covered in a mix of short, matted hairs and glandular hairs but is sometimes hairless. The outer bracts are narrow, half or less as long as the inner bracts, appressed to slightly spreading.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

photo of basal leaves] Leaves are mostly in a basal rosette, the blade 2 to 6 inches long, up to about 1 1/3 inches wide, lance-elliptic to spatula-shaped, hairless or with a few stiff hairs, rounded to pointed at the tip and tapering at the base to a narrowly winged stalk. Basal leaf edges are toothless or have a few large teeth or shallow, narrow lobes, the lobes sometimes curved towards the base (incised). There may be a few leaves near the base of the stem, similar to the basal leaves.

[photo of stem and upper stem leaf] Mid and upper stem leaves are few or absent altogether, lance-linear, toothless, stalkless, and up to 2 inches long. Stems are erect, single or multiple from the base, unbranched except in the flower cluster, ridged and smooth to sparsely hairy, sometimes glandular in the upper plant.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed with plume

The flower heads turn into seed heads. Seeds are dark yellowish to reddish brown with a tuft of white hairs to carry them off in the wind.


Fiddle-leaf Hawksbeard reaches the eastern edge of its range in Minnesota; it is an uncommon species in our western counties but not considered rare. It is distinguished from other dandelion-like species in Minnesota by the combination of glandular phyllaries, the few to non-existent stem leaves, and generally oval basal leaves with variably and irregularly toothed to shallowly lobed edges. There are 7(!) recognized subspecies, distinguished by the size and shape of the phyllaries, whether phyllaries are glandular, whether the leaf teeth are strongly white-tipped, and the leaf width; subsp. runcinata, described above, is the most common and is found in Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Otter Tail County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Cathy - All over the leech lake area in Northern Minnesota
on: 2016-06-23 12:28:05

It spreads easily and unlike dandelions, animals do not seem to like to eat it.

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