BACKGROUND: Meadow hawkweed came to the U.S. from Europe. This weed reproduces by seed, stolons, and rhizomes and generally inhabits moist grasslands.
DESCRIPTION: Meadow hawkweed is a perennial weed with shallow, fibrous roots. Leaves are hairy, up to 6 inches long, spatula shaped, and almost exclusively basal. Stolons are extensive, creating a dense mat of hawkweed plants that practically eliminates other vegetation. Stems are bristly and usually leafless, although occasionally a small leaf appears near the midpoint. Stems can reach a height of 3 feet and bear up to 30, 1/2-inch flower heads near the top. Flowers are yellow and appear in late Mayor June. Stems and leaves exude milky juice when broken. Seeds are black, tiny, and plumed.
DISTRIBUTION: Meadow hawkweed is found primarily in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.
CONTROL: No biological control agents are available for meadow hawkweed. Periodic application of selective herbicides to grass pastures in the early spring and followed by nitrogen fertilizer can suppress the weed for 2 or more years.