Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata or Hypochoeris radicata)

Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata or Hypochoeris radicata) is a species of edible herb in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe. It is also known as Flatweed, Cat's ear or False dandelion. The common name Catsear is reffering to the shape and fine hairs on the leaves, which resemble that of a cat's ear. Catsear is usually grown in lawn.

Catsear is a low-lying, perennial herb with leaves that can grow up to 20 cm long. The leaves are irregularly lobed or toothed, and densely hairy. Catsear forms a low-lying basal rosette around a central taproot. All parts of the plant exude a milky sap when broken. Bright yellow flowers are borne on forked, solid and leafless flower stalk, usually 2-7 flowers per stalk. The seeds are windborne.

The leaves and the roots of Catsear are the most harvested parts, even though the whole plant is edible. The bland-taste leaves are usually eaten raw in salads, steamed or stir-fry. Young leaves are usually picked as older leaves are tough and fibrous. The roasted and ground roots are used as a form of coffee substitute.

Catsear is a noxious weed in pastures and lawn.

Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata or Hypochoeris radicata)Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata or Hypochoeris radicata)
Author: Christian Fischer (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

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