Cat's-ear - Hypochaeris radicata

Alternative names
Common Cat's-ear

Low to short plant, with a basal rosette of wavy edged leaves, never cut to the midrib, covered with many stiff, unbranched hairs that are raised on pimples. Flowerheads, yellow, 20 to 30 mm.

Similar Species

Hawkweeds (Hieracium and Pilosella) and Hawkbits (Leontodon and Scorzoneroides)

Identification difficulty
ID checklist (your specimen should have all of these features)

No leaves up stems, or very few, reduced, leaves. Receptacular scales present (i.e. narrow pointed bracts amongst the yellow florets).  Bracts dull green and bristly on the midrib


Recording advice

A side-on picture of the flowerhead and stem. This cannot be verified form a 'full-face' picture looking down onto the flowerhead; there are very many similar flowers. 


Common in grassy areas and short turf, roadside verges, lawns, etc.

When to see it

June to September.

Life History


UK Status

A common plant across Britain.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 468 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Common Catsear, Cat's-ear
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
27/05/2000 (MBNHS;Steve Woodward)
Last record:
03/07/2024 (Smith, Peter)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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