|Scientific Name:||Hypochoeris glabra|
Smooth Cat's-ear plant
Photo: A J Brown
Native to Europe and western Asia. Naturalised throughout Australia and in New Zealand.
Annual herb to 90 cm high. Leaves all basal, 2-20 cm long and 5-30 cm wide, obovate to oblanceolate with toothed to lobed margins. Leaves normally hairless or with a few hairs, mainly on the margins.
Flower-heads, 4-16 mm diameter, on branched or sometimes solitary stems. Flowers yellow with each ‘petal’ (actually a complete flower) 2-5 mm long, hardly longer than the involucre (the cup of bracts surrounding the flowers). Fruit a cypsela or achene; the inner being longer (6-12 mm) than the outer (2.5-6 mm).
Widespead throughout most of Victoria from dry to moist sites, on shallow soils and wastelands, in gardens, lawns, roadsides, parklands and bush verges.
Very similar to Cat’s-ear (Hypochoeris radicata) from which it differs in its hairless or almost hairless leaves and its smaller flowers. Smooth Cat’s-ear belongs to a group of mainly yellow-flowered daisies in the Tribe Lactuceae. The plants in this tribe are characterised by having a basal rosette of leaves (flat-weeds), milky sap in their stems and their flower-heads consisting entirely of ray florets (i.e. no ‘eye’ to the daisy). See Key to Yellow Daisy Flat-weeds.