Hairy cat’s-ear is thought to be poisonous and believed to be the cause of Australian Stringhalt in horses.
About This Species
Originally from the Mediterranean, Hairy cat’s-ear is a perennial that invades pastures, meadows, roadsides, riverbanks, lawns, and disturbed sites. This plant can grow in a wide range of conditions, but thrives the most in sunny, open areas. It displaces native plants and is a nuisance weed on lawns.
How to Identify
Hairy cat’s-ear has 2.5-3 cm long dandelion-like, yellow flowers that grow at the end of upright stems. Clumps of rough, hairy leaves grow from a woody base. Stems have few to no leaves and contain a milky juice when broken.
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It is best to hang dig Hairy cat’s-ear as soon as it appears, to ensure the crown is carefully removed. This plant is very persistent and will return after treatments due to its ample production of airborne seeds. It is possible to control larger infestations with repeated plowing, followed by reseeding of a non-invasive species or solarization – which means placing a plastic cover over the soil.
If you need advice about invasive species on your property or you are concerned about reported invasives in your local area, contact your local government or regional invasive species organization.
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