General: Perennial herb from a short or more often elongate rhizome and commonly with short, stout stolons; stems erect, usually solitary, leafless or with 1 or 2 reduced leaves, long bristly-hairy and also with starlike hairs and glandular above, exuding a milky juice when broken, 10-60 cm tall.
Leaves: Basal leaves oblanceolate to elliptic, narrowed to a stalked base, 4-20 cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide, usually long bristly-hairy above, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, entire or slightly toothed; stem leaves greatly reduced.
Flowers: Heads with strap-shaped flowers, several to many in a relatively small round- to flat-topped inflorescence; involucres 5-8 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, long bristly-hairy, also with blackish gland-tipped hairs; ray flowers orange-red, drying to purple.
Fruits: Achenes narrowed at the base, 1.5-2 mm long; pappus brownish.
When in full bloom, there are very few species the orange hawkweed can be confused with because of the characteristic color of its flowers. The orange agoseris (Agoseris aurantiaca) is similarly colored, but its inflorescences are solitary and the leaves are lobed and mostly glabrous, whereas those of the orange hawkweed are bristly-hairy. Although the range of the two species overlaps, the orange hawkweed is an exotic weed typical of the lowland, steppe and mountain zones, whereas the orange agoseris is a native species of the upper montane and alpine zone in BC.
Other species from the Aster family, though typically yellow-coloured, could be mistaken for the orange hawkweed after blooming when the flowers turn brownish, or when fruiting. In the latter case, the shape of the achenes and the pappus bristles can help correctly identify the orange hawkweed if an identification key is used.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2020-12-04 7:16:51 AM
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