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

Hypochaeris radicata L.
hairy cat's-ear (hairy catsear)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25641)

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Distribution of Hypochaeris radicata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a woody stem-base or enlarged fibrous root; stems erect, simple or more often branched, several, often spreading-hairy below, exuding milky juice when broken, 15-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate, densely stiff-hairy, toothed or pinnately cut, 3-35 cm long, 5-70 mm wide; stem leaves mostly lacking, represented by minute bracts.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, several in a terminal, flat-topped inflorescence; involucres 10-15 mm tall, at flowering, up to 25 mm in fruit, 2-4 cm wide; involucral bracts graduated, bristly-hairy or glabrous; ray flowers yellow.
Achenes nerved on the beak with minute projections, 4-7 mm long, inner ones with a well-developed beak shorter or longer than the body; pappus double, the inner ones of feathery bristles, the outer ones shorter and usually merely finely-barbed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, lawns, pastures and waste places in the steppe and lowland zones; common in SW BC, known from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, also on the Queen Charlotte Islands, rare in SC BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Hypochaeris radicata

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) 1 343 1396
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 192 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
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: CDF(44), CWH(219), IDF(3), MH(8), PP(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A very shade-intolerant, sub­montane to montane, European forb introduced to Pacific, Cordilleran, and Atlantic North America. Inhabits exposed mineral soil on water­shedding sites within montane boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with elevation and latitude. Common in early-seral (often meadow-like) communities. Characteristic of disturbed sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References