Leontodon hispidus

Botanical Name :Leontodon hispidus
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe:    Cichorieae
Genus:    Leontodon
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Common Names :Hawkbits or Rough Hawkbits, Bristly Hawkbit

Habitat : Although originally only native to Eurasia and North Africa, some species have since become established in other countries, including the United States and New Zealand.It grows on meadows, roadside verges etc, usually on calcareous soils and avoiding shade

Description:
Leontodon hispidus is a perennial plant growing to a height of 4 to 16 in. Stem is leafless, unbranched with a single capitulum, usually densely covered with star-shaped hairs (sometimes almost or completely glabrous). The leaves are basal rosette. Blades are narrowly elliptic, pinnately lobed–large-toothed, lobes wide.

The  flowers are 0.8 to 1.6 in. wide, single flower-like capitula surrounded by involucral bracts. Capitulum’s ray-florets bright yellow (outermost red-streaked), tongue-like, 5-toothed at tip. Stamens 5. Gynoecium composed of 2 fused carpels. Involucral bracts overlapping, hairy, green. Capitula solitary, terminating scape. Scape thickening only slightly at most. Buds are nodding.Flowering time is June–July.The fruit is achene, crowned by a pappus of yellowish-white feathery hairs.

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It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:           
An easily grown and tolerant plant, it prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil and does well on clay. A good bee and butterfly plant[108, 200], it grows well in the spring meadow.

Propagation:     
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in situ, only just covering the seed. Very fast germination. The seed can also be sown in the spring. If you are short of seed it can be sown in a pot in the cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.

Edible Uses :  
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. Neither the taste nor the texture are by any means wonderful, but the leaves are acceptable raw, particularly since they can be available in the late winter. The roasted root is a coffee substitute

Medicinal Uses:
The herb is diuretic. An infusion is used in the treatment of kidney complaints and as a remedy for dropsy and jaundice.

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/Leontodon
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Leontodon+hispidus
http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/rough-hawkbit
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hawrou05.html

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