Weeds: Catsear, common (False dandelion) – Hypochaeris radicata

categories: C-E Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 07:46

  • Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
  • Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Common catsear rosette.
Common catsear rosette
Photo by: J.A. Kropf


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.


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

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • 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

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing triclopyr

Turf areas

  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr

Bare ground areas

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr

Additional Images