Hypochaeris glabra L. - Smooth Cat's Ear

Hypochaeris glabra plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems:

Hypochaeris glabra stemFlowering scape.

Leaves:

Hypochaeris glabra leaves

Hypochaeris glabra basalsBasal leaves.

Inflorescence:

N/A

Involucre:

Hypochaeris glabra involucre

Ray flowers:

Hypochaeris glabra flowers

Hypochaeris glabra fruitsFruiting head.

Hypochaeris glabra acheneBeaked achene.

Hypochaeris glabra acheneNon-beaked achene.

Disk flowers:

Absent.

Flowering - February - July.

Habitat - Roadsides, waste places, fields, pastures, disturbed sites.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other information - This weedy little species can be found in southern Alabama. The plant can be identified by its basal rosette of pinnately-lobed leaves, its glabrous scapes, and its small yellow flower heads. The leaves can be glabrous to slightly hispid. The flowers barely exceed the rays of the involucre.
The fruits of H. gabra frequently (but not always) have both beaked and non-beaked achenes. The non-beaked achenes come from the outermost flowers.
The genus name Hypochaeris was a named used by Theophrastus for this genus or a similar genus. The name is derived from the Greek "hypo" meaning "under" and "chaer(i)" meaning "a young pig" maybe referring to the basal leaves growing so flat to the ground?
The species epithet glabra derives from the Latin "glab(r)" meaning "smooth" referring to nearly all parts of the plant.

Alabama Distribution:

Hypochaeris glabra map

Photographs taken off CR 243, Lee County, AL., 2-26-06.


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