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Weed identification

i have a six foot weed in my garden, there are several of them I've let them grow this year to flower as identification from leaves is very difficult. The flower resembles a giant dandelion. When I pull the weed out it regrows from the very thin cotton like roots which are difficult to remove as there are so many of them and break easily. My local garden centre has no idea what they are, does anyone have any idea what they areimageimage



  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,206

    Definitely not Hieracium which only grows to about 20cm in height - not 6 feet. I think it could be perennial sow thistle - Sonchus arvensis.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Tall treesTall trees Posts: 166

    I'm with ladybird4 this is not Hieracium this only grows a few inches, and mainly found in poor lawns.   

  • the sow thistle family has several variants - but all seed furiously.  If it were in my garden I'd have it out (wearing gloves as they are very prickly) and on the bonfire.

  • SJG2SJG2 Posts: 5

    Thanks everyone for your replies, I googled your responses & came to a link that suggests it's hawkweed, I think this is the closest I've got to putting a name to this giant beanstalk weed, I was half expecting to find jack in my garden :) 

  • SJG2SJG2 Posts: 5

    Oh & special thanks to tetley, spot on image hawkweed it is 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    It's certainly not Hawkweed.  As previously mentioned, that only grows to about a foot high.  Hawkweed also has hairy ovate leaves and orange flowers while your plant has smooth thistle-like leaves and yellow flowers.  It's one of the sow thistles, maybe this one:

    or if it is prickly, this one:

    Last edited: 23 July 2016 11:29:02

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,206

    It is DEFINITELY NOT hawkweed. The leaves are all wrong for hawkweed too.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    And I'll emphasise that: hawkweek is a small plant with completely different leaves, growing not 3 metres from me as I type.

  • SJG2SJG2 Posts: 5

    I stand corrected the link bob the gardener sent is more like the weed in my garden, apologies to all who stated this earlier I didn't see the fact of height of hawkweed, I've been trying to find out the name of this weed since last summer, I thought I'd got rid by last autumn but it reappeared this spring, it's below an apple tree that pigeons roost in overnight so it's possible they've brought it into my garden via droppings, thanks to all for your response image

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,206

    No worries SJG. I'm positive that every person who posts on here has done similar in the past. Thats why it is great to speak to people with such a great range of plant knowledge and always learning something new every day.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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