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Hawkweed Problems

Posted: 03 Jan 2011, 17:19
by topcat
Hawkweed is considered a terrible weed, but whats the big problem? could somebody please be so kind as to help me understand why it is so feared? Does it strangle other plants or something?

Re: Hawkweed Problems

Posted: 29 Dec 2016, 23:20
by Davey
In any large genus, expect that some species will be thought hurtful or weedy; some benign; some desired. So it is with Hieracium. Seattle has the native woodland wildflower White Hawkweed H. albiflorum, that is weak and particular as to its growing conditions. Two yellow-flowered European species are also present. The first, usually called Spotted Hawkweed, H. maculatum, is technically really H. spilophaeum 'Leopard'. It grows in shade, and has handsome purple mottling on its blue-green leaves; bright yellow flowers make it prized by some gardeners for its beauty. The second is Savoy Hawkweed, H. sabaudum, that blooms in late summer or fall, and grows tall. It is lovely, too. Finally, we have Orange Hawkweed, H. aurantiacum (also called Pilosella aurantiaca), with fiery flowers. Its hybrid H. stoloniflorum is rare.

In my garden I have cultivated all of those. They are lovely, and edible, being mildly bitter. But the Weed Police consider them noxious weeds. The major flaw with Washington State noxious weed laws is it fails to distinguish between the gigantic differences between, say, an eastern Washington farm, and a Puget Sound garden. Some plants that thrive on one side of the mountains scarcely survive on the other side. Hawkweeds are not serious weeds --dozens of others, dandelions included, are more vexing.