E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hieracium gracile Hook.
slender hawkweed
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #660)

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Distribution of Hieracium gracile
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a short, stout rhizome; stems erect, usually solitary, sparsely branched above, glabrous to hairy, the hairs starlike or short soft-hairy and sometimes glandular, especially above, exuding milky juice when broken, 3-35 cm tall.
Basal leaves persistent, tufted, hairless or short-hairy, toothed or entire, narrowly elliptic, 1-10 cm long, 3-15 mm wide; stem leaves few, reduced, bractlike.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, solitary or several; involucres 6-8 mm tall; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate, subequal, grey-hairy, the hairs starlike, also with some long, soft blackish hairs which may be gland-tipped; ray flowers yellow.
Achenes nerved, 2-3.5 mm long; pappus tawny or sometimes white.
Easily confused with H. triste which, upon close examination, lacks glandular hairs on the stalks of the heads and involucres.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic forests, meadows, streambanks and snowbeds in the upper montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT and S to N CA and NM.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Hieracium gracile

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 22 1813 3000
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 250
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 189 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(80), BAFA(56), BWBS(1), CMA(29), ESSF(648), ICH(28), IDF(20), IMA(68), MH(34), MS(22), SBPS(1), SBS(45), SWB(13)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hieracium triste var. gracile

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References