Smooth Hawk's-beard - Crepis capillaris


Medium to tall hairless or slightly hairy plant. Stems slender branched at base or above. Leaves shiny, the basal numerous, lanceolate to pinnately lobed. Stem leaves smaller and clasping the stem with pointed lobes. Flowerheads yellow, often reddish beneath 10 to 15 mm in lax clusters. Pappus soft white.

Similar Species

Hawksbeards can be distinguished from Hawkweeds by having two rows of bracts on each flower head - one tall and erect, the other much shorter and often spreading. Smooth Hawksbeard is the only one of the group that is hairless.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

A smaller plant, compared to other Hawk's-beards; the outer row of bracts appressed to the others, but still separate.

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.


Grassland, roadsides and waste places.

When to see it

June to November.

Life History


UK Status

Common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 461 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