Orange hawkweed. Photo Credit: Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Orange hawkweed infestation. Photo Credit: Caleb Slemmons, National Ecological Observatory Network, Bugwood.org
Orange hawkweed flowers. Photo Credit: Becca MacDonald, Sault College, Bugwood.org
Orange hawkweed flower. Photo Credit: Becca MacDonald, Sault College, Bugwood.org
Orange hawkweed seedheads. Photo Credit: Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Also known as: devil’s paintbrush, flameweed, fox-and-cubs, orange red king devil
Orange hawkweed is a fast spreading perennial that has attractive, showy orange flowers. The bright orange flowers attract gardeners who are unaware of how quickly it can spread. Once outside of garden beds, it spreads rapidly and can overtake lawns, gardens, pastures, and meadows.
|Life Cycle:||Perennial (life cycle lasts more than one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||Yes|
|Height:||Up to 25 inches (65 centimeters), usually 12-18 inches (30 – 45 centimeters) tall|
|Leaf Description:||Bright green, lance-shaped leaves only grow at the base of the plant. The upper and lower surface of the leaves are covered with hairs.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Attractive flowers are bright orange-red and grow in compact clusters at the end of its stems. |
Seeds are attached to tufted hairs, similar to dandelions, which aid in wind dispersal.
|Bloom Time:||May to September|
- Orange hawkweed is commonly found in lawns, meadows, pastures, and forest openings
- It thrives in a variety of soils, and while it prefers sunny locations, it is somewhat shade tolerant.
- Orange hawkweed spreads quickly by seeds, rhizomes, and above-ground stolonsStolons A horizontal stem that runs along the ground and takes root at certain points to form new plants.. It can develop into a monocultureMonoculture A single crop or plant species in an area. that continues to expand until it covers an area.
- It is an unpalatable competitor of pasture and range plant species, crowding out more desirable livestock forage.
What you can do about it:
- If you think you’ve found orange hawkweed anywhere in Oregon, please report it to the Oregon Invasive Species Hotline.
- Small infestations can be removed by hand, being careful to remove the entire root system and disposing of the plant in a plastic bag in the trash—not your yard waste bin or home compost.
- Mowing is not recommended to large or dense infestations.
- Employing a routine grazing rotation is essential for controlling it in pastures. Allowing forage to recover and regrow helps reduces the spread of orange hawkweed.
Before flowering, orange hawkweed is difficult to distinguish from other hawkweeds, like mouse-ear hawkweed. However, once it flowers, the bright orange-red flowers are a distinguishing feature.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Class A|
|State of Washington:||Class B|
Download the Orange Hawkweed Best Management Practices Factsheet
- Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook: Orange hawkweed
- University of California, Weed Research & Information Center: Hawkweeds