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Orange Hawkweed

Orange Hawkweed 

(Hieracium aurantiacum)



Common Names:

Orange Hawkweed, Orange Paintbrush, Red Daisy, Flameweed, Devil's Weed, Grim-the-Collier, Devil's-Paintbrush, Fox-and Cubs, King-Devil, Missionary Weed



Similar to strawberry plants, Orange Hawkweed produces leafy runners that can produce new plants. Orange Hawkweed is a fibrous rooted perennial. It can grow from one to three feet in height and stems are covered with black, stiff hairs and contain a milky latex. Simple leaves are located at the base of the plant with one or two leaves that measure four to five inches in length. Both leaves and stems are covered with fine, black hairs. Bright orange-red ray flowers, resembling dandelions, bloom from June to September. Petals of this plant are square edged. One plant can produce five to thirty five flower heads and each flower can produce up to thirty nine seeds that are dark brown or black. Seeds are dispersed by wind, water or are often moved in soils that are moved and transplanted for gardens and flowerbeds.  Roots of orange hawkweed are shallow and fibrous with above ground runners as well as extensive below ground root system that provides for aggressive reproduction.


Key Features:

Leafy runners; hairy, leafless stems; clusters of vibrant orange-red dandelion-type heads; exudes a white latex when damaged or broken.



Orange hawkweed does best in full sun or partial shade.  It can be found in rich soils as well as shallow, sandy or gravelly soils. It invades different habitats including urban sites, moist meadows, pasture, grasslands, rangelands hay fields, roadsides, gravel pits, edges of woods, and waste areas.


Currently found in the following counties:

Broadwater, Carbon, Custer, , Deer Lodge, Flathead, Gallatin, Hill, Lincoln, Madison, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, Wheatland



  • Herbicide


Interesting Facts:

Originally from Europe, this aggressive invader is also known as the devil’s paintbrush. By forming dense, single specie stands, and competing with forest understory plants, it out-competes many native species.


Commonly Confused Plants:

Its orange color makes it a very distinctive plant.






Photo Credits: Bob Osborn, Yeovil, England,; Dan Williams; Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service,; Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service,


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