WSU Extension

Hortsense

Weeds : Catsear, common (False dandelion) : Hypochaeris radicata
(revision date: 6/16/2016)

Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Cycle: Perennial
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Biology
Common catsear, also known as false dandelion or spotted catsear, grows in a rosette, with all the leaves at the base of the plant. Roots are fibrous, but often several of the roots are enlarged. The leaves are roughly hairy and elongate (two to twelve inches) with irregularly lobed or toothed margins. From this rosette of leaves arise smooth, leafless, erect flower stems. The stems are sparingly branched and grow to a height of nine to twenty inches. Each branch bears at the tip a single yellow flower head up to about one inch in diameter. The "petals" or ray flowers are straplike and toothed at the ends. Spotted catsear reproduces by seeds which resemble dandelion seeds in having a plumed "umbrella". The plant has milky sap. SPECIAL INFORMATION: In WASHINGTON, common catsear is designated a Class 'B' noxious weed. Management may be required in your county. Contact your local Noxious Weed Control Board for more information.
Habitat
Spotted catsear may be found in such places as waste areas, lawns, pastures, gardens, and other disturbed or cultivated sites. It is most prevalent west of the Cascades.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Hand-pull to eliminate weeds.
  • Careful digging is useful to manage weed populations. However, digging can carry undesirable weed seed to the surface and foster further germination.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label directions. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • dichlobenil
Turf areas
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr
Bare ground areas
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr
Images
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Caption: Common catsear rosette
Photo by: J.A. Kropf
Caption: Dandelion (left) vs catsear (right) leaves
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Common catsear in bloom
Photo by: Washington Noxious Weed Control Board
Caption: Common catsear flower
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Common catsear infestation
Photo by: Washington Noxious Weed Control Board
Caption: Common catsear flower
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Common catsear leaf
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Common catsear
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Dandelion (left) vs catsear (right) flowers
Photo by: T.W. Miller