Orange Hawkweed (not Indian Paintbrush)

While locally this is often known as Indian Paintbrush, the first flower to be called such is a native North American flower found out west. Others may refer to Orange Hawkweed as Devil’s Paintbrush, Grim-the-Collier, Missionary Weed, Orange Paintbrush, Red Daisy, or Tawny Hawkweed. Botanists can’t even agree on its proper name and you can find it listed as both Hieracium aurantiacum and Pilosella aurantiaca. It is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is invasive and does well in bad soil so you might see them taking over fields or along roadsides in Wisconsin. They spread seeds the way dandelions do but also reach out with rhizomes (below ground) and stolons (above) from which new plants can sprout.

Not native to Wisconsin or even North America

2 responses to “Orange Hawkweed (not Indian Paintbrush)”

  1. Many mistakes are made by using common names for plants. The “Indian Paintbrush” is a beautiful reddish wildflower with the Latin name Castilleja, and should not be mistaken for the hawkweed….

    • Thanks for the tip! Fixed the listing. And it makes me think about the nature of naming things: If I am in Wisconsin and I say Show me Indian Paintbrush, I’ll be taken right to it. Hawkweed by any other name would still smell as invasive.

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