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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #25641)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Hypochaeris radicata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
343 1 1396
Slope Gradient (%)
22 0 210

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

192 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia