Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) is a perennial plant with a rich yellow flower similar looking to a dandelion. The lobed leaves form in a rosette around the base of the stem and are covered in a layer of tiny hairs. It is also known as Flatweed, Cat’s ear or False dandelion,
Catsear looks similar to the Dandelion, but has several branches coming from the central stalk, topped with the bright yellow flower and deep green leaves. The leaves of this plant are edible and are most commonly used in stir frys, or they are steamed or boiled, where as the roots may be used to make coffee by roasting. In Europe, this flower is classed as a delicacy and served with olive oil and garlic, used in the same way as Dandelion.
The leaves of Catsear can grow up to 8 inches in length and are covered in small, fine hairs, these leaves form a low lying rosette around the stem base. The flower heads, when they mature, form seeds, these seeds are attached to windborne “parachutes”, and this is what helps the seeds to be distrubuted.
Height: 30 – 45cm
Flowering Time: May to Sept
Preferred Conditions: Prefers dry, sandy and slightly acidic soils and is found in a range of habitats including meadows, heaths, pastures, roadside verges, waste ground and even sand dunes