Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella)
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Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella)
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 01) This cluster of mouse-ear hawkweed was growing on the side of the road, a common habitat for this wild flower. The literature says that mouse-ear hawkweed blooms from June-October, but we have only seen it bloom in the spring, and sometimes as early as late May. We took this photo on June 2nd.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 02) Mouse-ear hawkweed grow to heights 4-12 inches, and have only a rosette of basal leaves with a solitary bloom on top of a leafless stem. The leaf rosettes can be relative sparse. as these are, or they can grow quite thick. The leaves, which can grow as long as four inches, have white hairs. Mouse-ear hawkweed usually grow in clusters that develop from their interconnected root runners.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 03) When looking straight down at the basal rosette, it is difficult to see the hairs. To see the long white hairs, it is best to provide some contrast, and to look at an angle, as we are doing in this photo. The more mature leaves also have a distinctive light green to white mid vein.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 04) This photo provides us with a closer look at the one inch diameter flowerhead, which some people say looks like a dandelion (which is true when viewed at a distance), but which is quite different when viewed close up. As with all members of the Aster family (Asteraceae), the mouse-ear hawkweed flowerhead is composed of numerous central disc flowers surrounded by many ray flowers.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 04a) In this bee's eye view of a portion of a mouse-ear hawkweed 1 inch diameter flower head, we can see more of the details of the central disc flowers, which are just beginning to open around the edge of the disc, and the perimeter ray flowers with the toothed end of the ray flower petals. The white silky strands clinging to the flowerhead are from the seeds of a cottonwood tree.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 05) This is a side view of a 1-inch diameter mouse-ear hawkweed flowerhead.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 05a) In this close-up side view of the mouse-ear hawkweed flowerhead, we can see the tiny hairs on the bracts and stem, and the curled split stigma on top of the pistils sticking up above the flowers.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 06) As we were taking these photos of the mouse-ear hawkweed, a visitor came by to have lunch on the nectar and collect so of the pollen.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 07) This is another view of a mouse-ear hawkweed flowerhead. This wildflower is a native of Europe, and is now found throughout the northeastern United States and as far south as North Carolina.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 08) This is another bee's eye view of a portion of the flowerhead of a mouse-ear hawkweed.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 09) In this semi-side view of the flowerhead of a mouse-ear hawkweed, we can see more of the detail of some of the ray flowers.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 10) This is another view of a mouse-ear hawkweed flowerhead.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 11) This is another look at a flowerhead of a mouse-ear hawkweed.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 12) A few days after we took the first photos of the mouse-ear hawkweed leaves, they became so covered with cottonwood "fuzzies" that it became more difficult to distinguish the leaf hairs.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 13) This is another look at the cottonwood fuzz covered basal leaves of the mouse-ear hawkweed. Notice how hard it is to distinguish the white leaf hairs from the fuzz.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 14) This is a newly opening flowerhead of a mouse-ear hawkweed with the mostly closed bud of a flowerhead of a adjacent plant.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 15) This is a side view of the newly blooming mouse-ear Hawkweed.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 16) This is a close-up side view of a mouse-ear hawkweed bud that is just beginning to open.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 16a) This mouse-ear hawkweed flowerhead is about half way opened.
(Mouse-ear Hawkweed - 17) In this photo we have a closer look at the hairs on the mouse-ear hawkweed. We believe that the name came about because the newly opening leaves look something a mouse's ear (see the smaller leaf growing out from under the left side of the larger leaf).
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