Mouse-ear Hawkweed(Pilosella officinarum)

Botanical Name : Pilosella officinarum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Pilosella
Species: P. officinarum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Hieracium pilosella L

Common Names :Mouse-ear Hawkweed
*Catalan: Pelosella
*Danish: Håret Høgeurt
*Czech: Jest?ábník chlupá?ek
*French: Epervière piloselle, Piloselle, Oreille de souris, Piloselle de rat, Herbe à l’épervier, Veluette.
*German: Kleines Habichtskraut
*Finnish: Huopakeltano
*Hungarian: Ezüstös hölgymál
*Dutch: Muizenoor
*Norwegian: Hårsveve
*Polish: Jastrz?biec kosmaczek
*Swedish: Gråfibbla

Habitat : Mouse-ear Hawkweed   is native to  Temperate and subarctic Europe, including Britain, to W. Asia.  It grows on the  upland pastures, meadows, heaths, banks, on walls etc, usually on dry soil. It is also found as a weed of lawns. .

Description:
It produces single, citrus-colored inflorescences. It is an allelopathic plant. Like most hawkweed species, it shows tremendous variation and is a complex of several dozens subspecies and hundreds of varieties and forms.

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It is a hispid (hairy) perennial plant, with a basal rosette of leaves. The whole plant, with the exception of the flower parts, is covered in glandular hairs, usually whitish, sometimes reddish on the stem. The rosette leaves are entire, acute to blunt, and range from 1-12 cm long and 0.5-2 cm broad. Their underside is tomentose (covered with hair). The flowering stem (scape) is generally between 5 cm to 50 cm tall, and sprouts from the centre of the basal rosette. The flowerheads are borne singly on the scape and are a pale lemon-yellow colour, with the outermost ligules having a reddish underside. It flowers from May until August.

The plant favours dry, sunny areas. It grows well on sandy and similarly less fertile ground types. It produces stolons are which generate a new rosette at their extremity, each rosette has the possibility of developing into a new clone forming dense mats in open space. It also propagates by seeds.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a sunny position in any well-drained soil. Prefers a well-drained to dry poor soil in sun or partial shade. A common lawn plant, it is also a good bee and butterfly plant[108, 200]. It grows well on the top of dry walls. A strongly stoloniferous plant, it can be very invasive.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ in the spring or autumn. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Constituents: The Mouse-ear Hawkweed contains umbelliferone, a compound similar to coumarin and a known antibiotic against brucellosis, as well as a frequent active compound in sunscreen lotions. The plant is also a potent diuretic.

Medicinal Uses:
Mouse-ear hawkweed relaxes the muscles of the bronchial tubes, stimulates the cough reflex and reduces the production of mucus.  It is used for respiratory problems where there is a lot of mucus being formed, with soreness and possibly even the coughing of blood.  It is considered a specific in cases of whooping cough.  It may also be found beneficial in bronchitis or bronchitic asthma.  The astringency and the diuretic action also help to counter the production of mucus, sometimes throughout the respiratory system.  The herb is used to control heavy menstrual bleeding and to ease the coughing up of blood.  Externally it may be used as a poultice to aid wound-healing or specifically to treat hernias and fractures.  A powder made from it was used to stem nosebleeds.  The tea is an occasional home remedy for fever and diarrhea.

The herb is also taken in the treatment of enteritis, influenza, pyelitis and cystitis. It is occasionally used externally in the treatment of small wounds and cuts.The plant is harvested in May and June whilst in flower and can be used fresh or dried.

 

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieracium_pilosella
http://www.pbase.com/image/45418756
http://luirig.altervista.org/naturaitaliana/viewpics.php?title=Pilosella+officinarum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pilosella+officinarum

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