*Hypochaeris radicata

Family Asteraceae

Catsear, Flatweed

Perennial herb to 40 cm with a basal rosette; growing from hard, thickened overwintering base, fibrous rooted, but often with several enlarged roots and appearing tap-rooted. Longevity 2 - 5 years.

Flowers: Yellow at any time of year.

Fruit: Achene 4 – 7 mm long, with plumed pappus 8 – 14 mm long.

Seed: Wind dispersed. Reported to have short term soil seedbank (less than 1 year)

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout


  • Native of Europe.
  • Weed of woodland, disturbed sites, roadsides and pastures.
  • Occasional in woodland and frequent in grassland at the Australian Botanic Garden, minor weed.
  • Plants eaten by rabbits and garden snails.
  • Flowers reported to be eaten by Galah Cacatua roseicappilla and Crimson rosella Platycercus elegans, roots eaten by sulphur crested cockatoos Cacatua galerita.
  • Resprouts from rootstock after fire.

Asterisk * indicates exotic species naturalised at the Australian Botanic Garden.

Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Hypochaeris radicata plant

Hypochaeris radicata flower

Hypochaeris radicata fruit