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Pilosella officinarum - F.W.Schultz.&Sch.Bip.

Common Name Mouse-Ear Hawkweed
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Upland pastures, meadows, heaths, banks, on walls etc, usually on dry soil[7, 9, 13]. It is also found as a weed of lawns[1].
Range Temperate and subarctic Europe, including Britain, to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Pilosella officinarum Mouse-Ear Hawkweed

Pilosella officinarum Mouse-Ear Hawkweed


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Pilosella officinarum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


Pilosella officinarum.


 Lawn; Meadow; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Tonic.

Mouse-ear hawkweed relaxes the muscles of the bronchial tubes, stimulates the cough reflex and reduces the production of catarrh[254]. This combination of actions makes the herb effective against all manner of respiratory problems including asthma, wheeziness, whooping cough, bronchitis and other congested and chronic coughs[254]. The herb is mildly astringent, cholagogue, diaphoretic, strongly diuretic, expectorant and tonic[4, 7, 9, 21, 165]. The fresh plant is antibiotic[7]. The plant has been regarded as a specific for whooping cough[4] and is also used in treating other problems of the respiratory system such as asthma, bronchitis and influenza[238]. The herb is also taken in the treatment of enteritis, influenza, pyelitis and cystitis[9]. It is occasionally used externally in the treatment of small wounds and cuts[7].The plant is harvested in May and June whilst in flower and can be used fresh or dried[4, 238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a sunny position in any well-drained soil[200]. Prefers a well-drained to dry poor soil in sun or partial shade[238]. A common lawn plant[1], it is also a good bee and butterfly plant[108, 200]. It grows well on the top of dry walls[200]. A strongly stoloniferous plant, it can be very invasive[200].


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Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ in the spring or autumn[238]. Division in spring or autumn[238]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Roger B Hutchins   Fri Jun 22 2007

I have recently found an Hierecium in Tavistock England which I have identified as "Hieracium piloselloides"I can find no record of this plant in the British lists, but it seems to be an invasive weed in North America.It is also called the Tall Hawkweed. Do you have any information about this plant. I have photos.

   Sat Aug 29 2009

This is also an invasive weed!

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Subject : Pilosella officinarum  
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