Crepis pulchra L.

Small-Flowered Hawksbeard

Crepis pulchra plant

Family - Asteraceae/Cichorieae

Stems - Ascending to erect, to 1 m, unbranched below the inflorescence, sticky and moderately pubsecent with glandular hairs.

Crepis_pulchra_stem.jpgStem and leaf base.

Leaves - Basal and alternate. Basal leaves to 20 cm, petiolate, lobed or coarsely toothed, moderately pubescent with glandular hairs. Stem leaves similar, reduced toward tip, usually sessile and often with clasping triangular auricles.

Crepis_pulchra_leaf.jpgLeaf base and auricles.

Crepis_pulchra_leaf2.jpgLeaf abaxial.

Inflorescences - Loose terminal panicles.


Involucre - Cylindrical, the bracts in 2 series, the inner bracts 10-14, to 12 mm, similar in size, mostly lanceolate, the tip ascending at flowering, keeled, glabrous; the outer bracts much shorter.


Heads - Ligulate, receptacle glabrous. Ligulate florets 15-30, the corolla 5-12 mm long. Pappus of bristles 4-5 mm long.



Fruits - Dimorphic, the inner ones 4-5 mm long, the outer ones 5-6 mm long, more or less cylindrical, not beaked, 10-ribbed, the inner fruits with the ribs usually smooth, the outer fruits with the ribs usually minutely roughened or barbed, yellowish brown to light brown.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Open, disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Other info. - This is an uncommon species in Missouri, currently reported from only four counties. Plants in this genus have flowering heads similar to the hawkweeds (Hieracium sp.), but the leaves are much different and the plants are typically larger and more open. Among the four species of Crepis found in Missouri, this one can be recognized by its sticky-glandular stems.

Photographs taken at Weldon Spring Conservation Area, St. Charles County, MO, 5-9-2012, and along the Katy Trail, Warren County, MO, 5-29-2013 (SRTurner).