Earlier today at about 2 in the afternoon, I observed this singular flower peeking out from the ground around the Skaters Cabin area of Juneau. Its state of being was alive but, as you can see from the last photo, I was surprised to see any of the blossoms remaining from this patch because the rest have since died. After conducting some research, I was able to distinguish the plant to be an Orange Hawkweed which also goes by flameweed, red daisy, fox-and-cubs, devil’s paintbrush, and missionary weed. It can be characterized by its soft basal leaves at the base and a long leafless stem covered in small black hairs that leads to a single bloom which, hopefully, you can see a good example of in the first picture of the flower close-up. It is actually ecologically considered a noxious weed, meaning it is nonnative to the United States and poses a disruptive danger to the local ecosystems–the hawkweed is originally from Australia, New Zealand, and central Europe. Although I found some conflicting results that dispute when exactly the plant was brought to America sometime before 1818, according to the US Forest Service, “[Orange Hawkweed] was introduced in Vermont by 1875 as a garden ornamental” and it slowly became more invasive as it spread throughout the country, finally reaching the southeast Alaska region by the 1950s (Stone, 2010). The plant is also known to be prolific due to its reproduction process; it uses its anatomy to its advantage by using natural means of wind and water to scatter its seeds, stolons, and rhizomes across far distances. Its scientific identification is as follows; the Orange Hawkweed is in the Magnoliophyta phylum, the Magnoliopsida class, the Asterales order, the Asteraceae family, and the genus of Pillosella. Finally, the Orange Hawkweed’s scientific name is Pilosella aurantiaca and Hieracium aurantiacum (interchangeable). Furthermore, Glenlivit Wildlife says that hawkweed has been dried and ground into a powder or boiled to make a tea-like infusion as a means of traditional holistic medicine which was used to treat various ailments for centuries–the article states, “The root of hawkweed has long been known as an expectorant and diuretic, useful for treating chest congestion and urinary tract infections…In addition, the root has been used as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid, helping with bowel regularity and bloating issues” (Bryant 2023).

Works Cited

Stone, Katharine R. “Hieracium Aurantiacum.” US Forest Service, 2010,,been%20planted%20many%20times%20subsequently.

Bryant, Sam. “Hawkweed (Hieracium).” Glenlivet Wildlife, 23 Apr. 2023,,infusion%20to%20treat%20those%20conditions.

Publicado el septiembre 29, 2023 06:40 MAÑANA por leximountcastle leximountcastle


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