kh854's picture

Hawkbit

Observed: 11th December 2009 By: kh854
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - current student
kh854’s reputation in Plantskh854’s reputation in Plants
species 8a
species 8b
species 8c
species 8d
species 8e
species 8f
species 8g
species 8h
species 8i
Specimen A closer up
Specimen A
Description:

yellow dandelion like flower on long stem found on wasteland and sand dunes in abundance.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Chris Metherell's picture

Leontodon sp.

See http://ispot.org.uk/node/12587 for a previous discussion on how to tell one Leontodon from another.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

kh854's picture

Flowers heads/clocks

I have put some flowers in water and am awaiting the results from them. But I don't know what I'll be looking for when they have formed clocks. I've also got some more photos of the flower heads showing the bases which I will add. Once the clocks have formed I'll add some pictures of them.

Karen, OU Student

Chris Metherell's picture

Leontodon saxatalis

What excellent close ups of the flower heads. These show quite clearly the several rows of phyllaries (the green "sepals" below the flowers) which are characteristic of both Leontodon and Hypochaeris. Once you have a clock try pulling off one of the fruits (called an achene). If you look carefully at the hairs at the top (the bits whcih actually make the thing float away on the breeze - the pappus hairs) you will (I hope) see that many are not simple hairs as in most Asteraceae but feathered. Very pretty actually under a lense or binocular microscope. OK here we go. If the pappus hairs are all feathery, then it's either H. maculata (a rather rare Cat's Ear which does not look like you specimen) or L. autumnalis (which is usually branched - unlike your plant). So, I would expect to find two rows of pappus hairs, the inner feathery and the outer simple. Now look at the achene itself - does it have a beak (a longish spine sticking out of the end to which the pappus is attached) - if it does then it's almost certainly one of the other two Cat's Ears - C. radicata or C. glabra (the latter can sometimes have unbeaked achenes but this is unusual). I suspect that it won't have beak, and then we're almost there. If you look at the outer achenes, you may find that they don't have any pappus hairs at all, just a scaly ring instead. If that's the case you have L. saxatilis. If all the achenes have pappus hairs then it's L. hispidus (unlikely from the lack of hairs shown in you excellent photos). Phew! Good luck! If you have a good close-up lense, and some skill - as you obviously have, try posting a photo of some dissected achenes with the pappus hairs attached and then we could all see what you have found.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland