Lesser Hawkbit - Leontodon taraxacoides
Family - Asteraceae
Lesser hawkbit is a Dandelion like plant growing patches of erect, sparsely hairy leafless stems from a basal rosette of slightly glossy leaves. Native to Europe and North Africa but it can be found in many other countries as an introduced and naturalised species and a noxious weed. Introduced in North and South America and Australia, where it is regarded as an environmental weed. Growing during June to September, flowers are usually seen from March to July.
Ligulate solitary golden yellow flowers with layered rings of ray florets with no disc florets, 12-20mm (0.5-0.8in) diameter, greyish-purple beneath with clasping sepals having a dark outline regarded as a distinguishing feature for the plant. Florets have toothed tips and mature to a fruit of a cylindrical achene with a pappus of scales. Fruits near the centre of the flower head are rough, while those growing along the edges of the head are smooth. Can be found in many habitats especially disturbed sites, but also in lawns, waste ground, unused gardens, sand, footpaths, parks, roadsides.
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