Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)
Appearance: Perennial herbaceous plant, 10-20" high; each hairy stem bears one or a dense cluster of dandelion-like, orange or yellow flowerheads. The stem grows from a basal rosette of hairy leaves. Hawkweeds colonize and can rapidly dominate a site. They grow well on disturbed, dry low productivity soils.
Leaves: Hairy rosette made up of entire or minutely toothed leaves, spatula-shaped, 4-6" long. They are dark green above and lighter green beneath.
Flowers: Bright yellow or orange dandelion-like, 0.5" to .75" in diameter; arranged in a dense flat-topped cluster of flowers.
Seeds: Each flower bears 12-30 tiny, columnar seeds with a light-brown tuft of bristles for wind dispersal. Seeds and are viable in the soil for up to 7 years.
Roots: Spreads primarily vegetatively through runners, (4-12 per flowering plant), rhizomes, (underground stems producing new plants) and sporadic root buds.
Note: There are two native hawkweeds in Minnesota, which differ from non-native hawkweeds as follows: They do not produce runners, the stems are branched and have few clasping leaves; they do not have basal leaf rosettes, and only the upper stem is hairy; they bear flowers in open elongated clusters.