What is hawkweed?(Hieracium species)
- There are a number of introduced hawkweed species which are potential weeds in Tasmania.
- Hawkweed is a weed of native grasslands and pastures.
- Hawkweed is a
declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of hawkweed are prohibited in Tasmania.
How to identify hawkweed
- Hawkweeds are perennial (long-lived) herbs belonging to the daisy family.
description of orange hawkweed is as follows. The stems grow to 40 cm
high and have numerous blackish hairs. The flowers are bright orange and
daisy-like while the leaves occur as a rosette (or whorl) at the base
of the plant and are also hairy. Leaves usually grow at a slight angle
to the ground but under grazing pressure and harsh conditions they lie
- Seed germinates throughout the growing season, especially
in autumn. Plants grow rapidly and usually flower within the first
growing season, but flowering may be delayed in late germinating plants.
Seedlings establish readily on bare areas.
- Orange hawkweed
plants produce between four and eight leafy runners (called stolons)
that can reach lengths of 25 cm. Runners grow from buds in the rosette
when the plants are flowering. These runners form new rosettes so that a
patch continues to expand until it covers the site with a solid mat of
Image top right: Hawkweed (Louis-M Landry)
Image above left: Hawkweed (Louis-M Landry)
Image above right: Hawkweed (Louis-M Landry)
Hawkweed in Tasmania
- Two species of hawkweed have been recorded in Tasmania: orange hawkweed
Hieracium aurantiacum has naturalised at several sites (see map), while mouse-ear hawkweed
H. pilosella established at one site but has now been eradicated.
has been found in open woodland and grasslands, poor pastures,
roadsides and neglected areas in the Southern Midlands, Central
Highlands and around Hobart. Hawkweed is also occasionally found in the
ornamental and herbal plant trade.
- Hawkweed colonises spaces
between tussock grasses, often in higher altitude areas, and can be
extremely invasive. Heavy infestations form large swards which prevent
regeneration and survival of native species and reduce productivity in
What is the legal status of hawkweed in your area?
Detailed management and control guidelines for hawkweed can be found in the
Hawkweed Control Guide. Refer also to
Herbicides for Hawkweed Control. For further information see
DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.
Hawkweed Control Guide
Herbicides for Hawkweed Control
Hawkweed Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources
Other useful links
Weeds in Australia - Weed Management Guide
extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries,
Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants)
excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but
not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other
compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or
material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.