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May is BC Invasive Species Action Month! learn more »

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Webinar Recording

Calling all gardeners - watch the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour webinar.recording learn more »

June 27 Webinar

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Courses across BC March - May 2018

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Learn about the potential economic impacts of a new BC invasion learn more »

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Parrot's Feather

A popular aquatic garden plant that spreads with water currents, animals, boats/trailers and fishing gear. Dense stands can stagnate water, and increase breeding grounds for mosquitoes learn more »

Zebra/Quagga Mussels

These tiny freshwater mussels clog drains, damage infrastructure, and are very costly to control/eradicate learn more »

Giant Hogweed

A towering toxic invasive plant with WorkSafe BC regulations learn more »

European Fire Ant

A tiny ant with a toxic sting learn more »

Purple Loosestrife

An aggressive wetland invader that threatens plant and animal diversity learn more »

Orange Hawkweed

Also yellow, these invasive plants replace native vegetation along roadsides, and threaten areas not yet reforested learn more »

Japanese Knotweed

Grows aggressively through concrete, impacting roads and house foundations learn more »

Spotted Knapweed

A single plant spreads rapidly with up to 140,000 seeds per square metre learn more »

Scotch Broom

An evergreen shrub that invades rangelands, replaces forage plants, causes allergies in people, and is a serious competitor to conifer seedlings learn more »

Hairy Cat’s Ear

Family Name
Asteraceae (Sunflower)
Hypochaeris radicata

Hairy cat's ear (Hypochaeris radicata) is a perennial that infests pastures, meadows, roadsides, river banks, lawns and disturbed open areas as well as legume and seed crops. It is also thought to be poisonous and is believed to be the cause of Australian Stringhalt in horses.

Hairy cat's ear has 1-1.5" wide dandelion-like, yellow flowerheads at the end of upright stems. Rosettes of rough hairy leaves and a clump of basal leaves form from a woody base. Stems are typically leafless ad branched, and contain a milky juice when broken. 

Originally from the Meditterrean, hairy cat's ear is a particular problem on Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and emerging in the southern interior of BC, and impacts sensitive Garry Oak ecosystems. It can displace native plants, especially in open areas, and is a nuisance plant on lawns. Hairy cat's ear enjoys a wide range of habitats but thrives in sunny disturbed areas the most.

Control of hairy cat's ear is best when it first appears with hand digging to carefully remove the crown. This invader is persistent and will return following treatments since it has ample airborne seeds that aid rapid spread. Control larger populations with repeated plowing, followed by reseeding or by solarization (plastic cover on soil). 

Gallery: Hairy Cat’s Ear