Spotted Hawkweed - Hieracium spilophaeum

Alternative names
Leopard Spotted Hawkweed, Hieracium maculatum

Also known as Common Hawkweed. This plant has the usual yellow flowers associated with the genus, but the leaves are often deeply purple spotted.

Similar Species

Several other species in Sect. Vulgata have purple-spotted leaves.  

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Identifying most Hieracium to species-level is extremely difficult, and can only be done from a specimen by an expert in the genus.  Stace (4th edition) separates the 415 microspecies into 15 sections which can be identified with care on the basis of leaf characteristics.

Recording advice

A specimen is required for verification


Rough grassland, waste areas, railway embankments and quarries.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History


UK Status

Local. Most records come from south of a line between the Humber and the Severn.

VC55 Status

Local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 24 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map