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, grim-the-collier
Orange hawkweed is a highly aggressive perennial that has attractive, showy orange flowers. The bright orange flowers attract gardeners who are unaware of its aggressive nature. 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 35 inches (89 centimeters), usually 12-18 inches (30 – 45 centimeters)|
|Leaf Description:||Lance-shaped leaves only grow at the base of the plant and have hairs growing on both sides.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Attractive flowers are bright orange-red and grow in compact clusters at the end of leafless stems. The stems are covered by stiff, black hairs.|
|Bloom Time:||July to August|
- 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 runners. It can develop into a monocultureGrowing a single crop or plant. that continues to expand until it covers the site.
- 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 dug out, 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.
- Adding fertilizers to improve depleted soils can help control hawkweeds in some areas, especially if the infestation is new.
Before flowering, orange hawkweed is difficult to distinguish from other hawkweeds. However, once it flowers, the bright orange-red flowers are a distinguishing feature.