Hieracium caespitosum (Meadow Hawkweed)

Plant Info
Also known as: Yellow King-devil, Field Hawkweed
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
  • Invasive - ERADICATE!
Habitat:sun; open fields, roadsides, disturbed soil, high grade prairie
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:1 to 3 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

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

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

[photo of flower] 5 to 25 yellow dandelion-like flowers form a tight flattened cluster at the tip of a long, mostly naked stem. Individual flowers are about ¾ inch across, with dense, dark glandular hairs on the bracts and short flower stalks. The flowers stay in a broad compact cluster through the bloom period.

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

[photo of leaves] Leaves are mostly basal, 2 to 10 inches long, ½ to 1¼ inch wide, oblong lance to elliptic, blunt or pointed at the tip, smooth or sparsely toothed along the edges. Sometimes 1 or 2 reduced leaves are on the lower part of the flowering stem. Leaf surface is dull, sparsely covered in fine hairs on both surfaces with longer, denser hairs along the edges and the midrib on the underside. Flowering stems are densely hairy with finer hairs at the base, becoming stiff, glandular hairy towards the flower cluster. Short, stout rhizomes and long stolons (runners) may be present.


A relative new-comer in many parts of the state, Meadow Hawkweed and other non-native weedy hawkweed species have expanded rapidly west and south the past twenty years from the Duluth area. Most prevalent in disturbed sites all of them have shown to readily invade high grade habitat.This species can be difficult to distinguish from Glaucous King-devil, Hieracium piloselloides, often growing side-by-side with it. Typically Meadow Hawkweed is more densely hairy on all parts of the plant, especially along leaf edges and lower flower stalk and its flower cluster stays more compact. Meadow Hawkweed also has stolons, where Glaucous King-devil does not. Meadow Hawkweed is also very similar to Orange Hawkweed, H. aurantiacum, differing most obviously by the flower color.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Minnesota Goose Garden

Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓

Map of native plant resources in the upper midwest

  • Natural Shore Technologies - Using science to improve land and water
  • Minnesota Native Landscapes - Your Ecological Problem Solvers
  • Spangle Creek Labs - Native orchids, lab propagated
  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Landscape Alternatives

More photos

Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken along various roadsides in Aitkin County.


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

Posted by: Amber, SE of Bemidji
on: 2012-09-12 12:54:33

I think we have this in our yard!

Posted by: Lynn D Stangel - Cass Lake
on: 2020-06-10 18:49:17

this is the first year I have ever seen it. Have several plants in my yard on a hillside down to the pond.

Posted by: Gary - Carlton County
on: 2020-06-23 15:40:03

Common in old fields and along roadsides. It is in my long abandoned hayfield in spots. I have seen bumblebees and yellow swallowtail butterflies nectaring at it.

Posted by: Carl Greiner - Aitkin County (Palisade).
on: 2023-05-04 16:07:55

In old disturbed field (last cleared in 1950s but mowed each year usually in fall). Hot, dry sunny in summer.

Posted by: Stephanie Mirocha - Crow Wing County
on: 2023-06-13 21:11:58

It is growing in the driveway of our forested cabin lot, which we will be mowing soon.

Posted by: John Sumption - Northern Cass County--Longville
on: 2023-06-14 20:02:48

Yellow and Orange Hawkweed have exploded this year in well established turf, hayfields, and pastures. My lawn and neighbors hayfield are covered with it! Wind-born seeding??

Posted by: Katherine Koenen - Aitkin
on: 2023-06-16 21:22:58

We've had a large bloom on our land that we've never seen before under a cluster of crabapple trees in Aitkin

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.


Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.