Hieracium longipilum (Hairy Hawkweed)

Plant Info
Also known as: Long-bearded Hawkweed
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; dry sandy soil; prairies open woods, roadsides
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:2 to 5 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
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: panicle Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Raceme or branching cluster of 10 to 20 yellow dandelion-like flowers on short hairy stalks at the top of the stem. Flowers are about ½ inch across with 40 to 90 yellow ray flowers (petals) with notched tips. The bracts (phyllaries) surrounding the base of the flower are densely covered in a mix of star-shaped and glandular hairs.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are mostly basal, 2 to 10 inches long, up to 1½ inches wide, rounded or blunt at the tip, tapering at the base, toothless, and densely covered in white hairs 1/8 to ½+ inch (3 to 15+ mm) long. Stem leaves are few, smaller than the basal leaves, and alternately attached leaves to about the midpoint of the stem. The stem is covered in long stiff hairs, sometimes mixed with small star-shaped hairs, the long hairs more dense and longer on the lower stem..

Fruit: Fruit type: seed with plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a dark seed about ¼ inch long with a tuft of light brown hair to carry it off in the wind.


An uncommon species, Minnesota is the northwestern corner of its natural range. Hairy Hawkweed does not colonize so it isn't likely to be confused with one of the weedy hawkweeds that tend to form large mono-cultures. When present, it is typically found as single plants scattered in the area. The hairs on the leaves and stem are longer than other hawkweeds, it's typically 3 to 4 feet tall, and hairs on the seeds are brown where the weedy hawkweeds rarely exceed 2 feet and hairs on the seeds are white.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Chisago County. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Dakota counties.


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

Posted by: Gretchen - Pine County, Hinckley
on: 2013-05-09 12:56:39

Hieracium longipilum- believe I have a sighting for Pine County. Stay tuned. Can't recall the gal I chatted with on the slender penstemon find, but thought I would let her know of my find. :)

Posted by: Janelle - Northeastern Houston County
on: 2014-08-11 21:28:34

Found on the roadside in a wooded area while looking for calendula.

Posted by: Elizabeth Tiller - McKnight Prairie, NW corner of Goodhue County, near Randolph
on: 2019-07-07 18:06:47

Scattered on south-facing slope of first knoll.

Posted by: M J - Beltrami County (southeastern)
on: 2022-07-05 14:01:14

Appeared in lawn and surrounding area for the first time this year (2022). I.D. confidence 95%+.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2022-07-05 14:05:31

M J, the natural range of this uncommon species doesn't extend to Beltrami County and, unless one of your neighbors planted it and some seed blew your way, it is highly unlikely it just appeared in your lawn. You most likely have one of the weedy/invasive hawkweeds instead. If you'd like confirmation on your ID post some images on the Minnesota Wildflowers Facebook page.

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