Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower, or composite family.
Plant: Erect, hairy, mostly leafless stems 1'-3' high arising from a basal rosette of hairy leaves and bearing a terminal cluster of orange, dandelion-like heads. Perennial.
Flowers: Bright orange dandelion-like heads, 3/4"-1", consisting of all ray flowers each with five, small, terminal teeth. The flowers are borne in a single cymose, terminal cluster at the end of the usually leafless stalk. Stem and involucral bracts are densely covered with stiff hairs, which are often blackish on the buds, bracts, and pedicels.
Leaves: Mostly basal, very hairy, toothless or obscurely toothed, obanceolate to lanceolate, with a tapering base.
Fruit: Seed-like achene with silky filaments.
Habitat: Fields, meadows, roadsides.
This European introduction is also called devil's paintbrush.
The orange flowers are quite distinctive, as most hawkweeds have yellow blooms.
The plant is very similar in form to Yellow King-devil (H. caespitosum)
but with orange instead of yellow flowers. The two are often found together.
The plant is widely distributed in North America. It is sometimes grown as a garden ornamental, but is also considered a noxious weed in some areas.
Where to find it:
Mainly in the rough meadow to the west of the pond, mixed with yellow king-devil hawkweed,
though somewhat less common.