Species category: Broadleaf Weed
Scientific name: Hypochoeris radicata
Cat’s Ear - What is it?
A European native, this perennial weed now grows in all states and is also commonly known as Flat Weed or False Dandelion, due to its appearance.
Distinguished by a rosette of basal leaves that appear rough and bristly thanks to a coating of stiff hairs on the leaf. The leaves can reach 20-30cm in length and are irregularly lobed.
Cat’s Ear has yellow flowers that sometimes resemble a dandelion flower. Break the stem and it secretes a milky residue.
When does Cat’s Ear occur?
Flowering is common throughout the year but is often very prevalent in spring. Seeds will form after flowering and are lightweight, so reproduction is often via wind dispersal but seeds travel on animals too.
What damage or effects will Cat’s Ear have?
Very common in lawns, gardens and pastures, it can be an extremely aggressive and invasive weed. It can reduce crop yields due to competition and also disrupt playing turf.
It is thought to be toxic to some animals, particularly horses, and so, must be removed from their grazing area.
Bayer recommends using Spearhead Selective Herbicide.