Hypochaeris radicata - L.
Spotted Cat's-ear
Other English Common Names: Hairy Cat's-ear
Other Common Names: hairy cat's ear
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Hypochaeris radicata L. (TSN 37794)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.138571
Element Code: PDAST54040
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Hypochaeris
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Hypochaeris radicata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (12Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Alaska (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AKexotic, ALexotic, ARexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, HIexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic
Canada BCexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Hypochaeris radicata is widespread across the U.S. It occurs mainly on disturbed sites. However, it has invaded several montane and subalpine communities in Hawaii and is favored by feral pigs there, which dig up large areas searching for the roots. In California, it is widespread in coastal grasslands and wetlands and has been observed to replace native plants. Apparently most impacts to biodiversity are in Hawaii and California but more information is needed. Hypochaeris radicata strongly competes with native species and forms extensive colonies that shade out native grasses and forbs, and prevent the establishment of shrubs and trees. Hypochaeris radicata has aggressive reproductive characteristics including producing over 2000 achenes per plant, and regenerating rapidly from the crown of the taproot after fire. More information about its management difficulty is needed.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 09Mar2004
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Europe (Baldwin et al. 2004).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivaton in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: An invasive exotic in natural areas in Hawaii (Weber 2003).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No known biological traits suggest it causes a major, possibly irreversible alteration.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: It forms extensive colonies that shade out native grasses and forbs, and prevent the establishment of shrubs and trees (Weber 2003). It has a deep succulent taprooot that is favored by feral pigs, which dig up large areas searching for the roots (Smith 1985 in PIER 2003). Hypochaeris radicata offsets prodigiously, its many rosettes smothering most plants growing adjacent to it (Sigg 2003).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High/Moderate significance
Comments: It strongly competes with native species (Weber 2003). It forms extensive colonies that shade out native grasses and forbs, and prevent the establishment of shrubs and trees (Weber 2003). Hypochaeris radicata offsets prodigiously, its many rosettes smothering most plants growing adjacent to it (Sigg 2003). It has a deep succulent taprooot that is favored by feral pigs, which dig up large areas searching for the roots (Smith 1985 in PIER 2003).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:High/Low significance
Comments: In a coastal grassland in the San Francisco area, a population of shooting star (Dodecatheon clevelandii?) was replaced by several exotics including Hypochaeris radicata (Sigg 2003).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High/Low significance
Comments: In a coastal grassland in the San Francisco area, a population of shooting star (Dodecatheon clevelandii?) was replaced by several exotics including Hypochaeris radicata (Sigg 2003). Sigg (2003), predicts that at one site Piperia elegans, Eriogonum latifolium, Sisyrinchium bellum, and Nassella pulchra will be displaced by Hypochaeris radicata and Plantago lanceolata in a few years and at another site Hypochaeris radicata and Plantago lanceolata will replace the native grasses in a decade or two. In a more extensive grassland at San Bruno Mountain, Hypochaeris radicata and other exotics are contributing to ecosystem decline (Sigg 2003).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Widespread across the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii (but absent from the central states) (Kartesz 1999). Occurs on all of the main Hawaiian islands except Niihau and Oahu (Wagner et al. 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Classified as need more information by CALEPPC, with the comment "widespread in coastal grasslands, wetlands; threat to wildlands?" (CALEPPC 1999). It has a deep succulent taprooot that is favored by feral pigs in Hawaii, which dig up large areas searching for the roots (Smith 1985 in PIER 2003). Very abundant on the Pacific Coast, locally common in the northeastern and north-central states; occurs in lawns, meadows, pastures, and waste places (Muenscher 1955). In Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, it is common and occurs in roadsides, fields, and disturbed areas (Weakley 2002). Apparently most impacts are in Hawaii and California but more information is needed.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Low significance
Comments: At most 99% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001). At least 16% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: In Hawaii, Hypochaeris radicata occurs in montane wet shrubland, montane wet forest, subalpine dry shrubland, subalpine dry forest, subalpine mesic grassland, and a subalpine bog (Wagner et al. 1999). In California, it is widespread in coastal grasslands and wetlands (CALEPPC 1999). In Oregon, it occurs in recently thinned forest stands (BLM 2003). In lawns, meadows, pastures, and waste places, mostly on sandy or gravelly soils (Muenscher 1955). Establishment occurs mainly in disturbed sites (Weber 2003).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Low significance
Comments: Establishment occurs mainly in disturbed sites (Weber 2003). Disturbed sites are not declining, therefore, it is presumed to be not declining.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and Kartesz (1999), 30-90% of its potential range in the U.S. is currently occupied.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: The feathery pappus of the achene makes it particularly adapted for wind dispersal (Turkington and Aarssen 1983). Birds are known to disperse the fruit by attachment to the feet and plumage (Turkington and Aarssen 1983). On a larger scale, achenes may be dispersed as contaminants of commercial grass seed (Wellington 1960 in Turkington and Aarssen 1983).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Establishment occurs mainly in disturbed sites (Weber 2003). Once established, it is strongly competes with native species (Weber 2003). It is presumed to not be stable or decreasing.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: Establishment occurs mainly in disturbed sites (Weber 2003). In Hawaii, often common, usually in disturbed sites (Wagner et al. 1999). In lawns, meadows, pastures, and waste places, mostly on sandy or gravelly soils (Muenscher 1955). Hypochaeris radicata occurs in recently thinnined forest stands in Oregon (BLM 2003). A pernicious weed of lawns and disturbed places, especially in northern California and near the coast (Baldwin et al. 2004).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Moderate significance
Comments: In New Zealand, it occurs in coastal sands and gravels, riverbeds, palustral mesotrophic mire vegetation, low tussock grassland, and tall tussock grassland (Turkington and Aarssen 1983). In Australia, it occurs in bush ecological communities such as open forest, grassy woodland, and grassland (Taylor 2001). It also occurs in Canada (Kartesz 1999). Riverbeds are not mentioned as a habitat it has invaded in the region of interest.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High significance
Comments: Hypochaeris radicata is estimated to produce 2329 achenes per plant (Ho 1964 in Turkington and Aarssen 1983). It regenerates rapidly from the crown of the taproot after fire (Smith 1985 in PIER 2003). It propagates by seeds and vegetatively by perennating buds (Weber 2003).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Low significance
Comments: There are several effective herbicides (Weber 2003). Scattered plants in grasslands should be spudded out below the crown as soon as leaves appear (Muuenscher 1955).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: The length of time that seeds remain viable in the soil is not known but presumeably herbicides could control it in less than 10 years.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High/Low significance
Comments: Herbicides are used to control it(Weber 2003). Herbicides may cause some non-target damage.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: In lawns, meadows, pastures, and waste places (Muenscher 1955). Because it occurs on disturbed sites and also in lawns, there may be some issues with accessibility.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Baldwin, B.G., S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, D.J. Keil, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken. 2004.
    Jepson Flora Project, Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. Regents of the University of California, Berkeley. Online. Available: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/jepson_flora_project.html (Accessed 2004).

  • Bureau of Land Management. 2003. Environmental Assessment No. OR090-03-16, Get Ready Timber Sale, September 17, 2003. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Eugene District Office. Online. Available: http://www.edo.or.blm.gov/planning/nepa/siuslaw/ea/EA03-16.pdf (accessed 2004).

  • California Exotic Pest Plant Council. 1999. The CalEPPC List: Exotic Pest Plants of Greatest Ecological Concern in California. Available: http://groups.ucanr.org/ceppc/Pest_Plant_List/. (Accessed 2004).

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

  • Muenscher, W. C. 1955. Weeds. The MacMillan Co., New York.

  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk Project (PIER). 2003. Plant threats to Pacific ecosystems - species of environmental concern. Last updated 20 December 2003. Online. Available: http://www.hear.org/pier/threats.htm. (Accessed 2004).

  • Sigg, J. 2003. Consider the weeds of the field - my, how they grow! Fremontia 31(1): 8-12.[http://www.cnps.org/publications/Fremontia_Vol31-No2.pdf]

  • Taylor, S. 2001. Bush Regeneration in the Nation's Capital - January 2001. Australian Association of Bush Regenerators. Online. Available: http://www.zip.com.au/~aabr/info/articles/article06.html (accessed 2004).

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Turkington, R. and L. W. Aarssen. 1983. Biological Flora of the British Islaes Hypochoeris radicata. Journal of Ecology 71: 999-1022.

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Volumes 1 and 2. Univ. Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp.

  • Weakley, A.S. 2002. July 19-last update. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of July 19, 2002. University of North Carolina Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/weakley_flora/default.htm. Accessed 2003, April 11.

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

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