Smooth Hawksbeard Crepis capillaris

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
smooth crepis


Crepis capillaris, commonly known as smooth hawksbeard, is a flowering plant characterized typically by its rosette of basal leaves and branching stem that bears multiple flower heads. The leaves at the base are usually pinnately lobed, meaning they have a central axis with small leaflets arranged on either side, resembling a feather. The edges of these leaflets are often toothed or jagged. The stems of smooth hawksbeard are slender and may possess fine hairs or be smooth, supporting branches that lead to clusters of small flower heads. These flower heads often resemble miniature dandelions, displaying a bright yellow color. Each flower head comprises numerous tiny flowers called florets, which are surrounded by a series of green bracts forming an involucre at the base. As the flowers of smooth hawksbeard mature, they develop into fluffy white seed heads, much like those of dandelions. These seed heads contain seeds equipped with a tuft of hair-like structures called pappus, which allows them to be carried away by the wind, aiding in their dispersal. The overall aesthetic of the plant is delicate and somewhat feathery, typically found in grassy fields, waste areas, and even disturbed sites across its native and naturalized range. The plant exhibits a green hue, typical of many herbaceous plants, providing an unassuming backdrop for the vibrant yellow flowers that emerge throughout its flowering season.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Smooth Hawk's-Beard, Smallflower Hawksbeard, Smooth Hawksbeard.

    • Common names

      Crepis virens, Hieracioides capillare, Berinia capillaris, Crepis commutata, Crepis dubia, Crepis foetida, Crepis neglecta, Crepis polymorpha, Crepis praemorsa, Crepis tectorum, Crepis versicolor, Hieracium capillare, Wibelia capillaris.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris) is not regarded as a toxic plant to humans. Consequently, there are no well-documented symptoms of poisoning from ingesting this plant. However, it's crucial to note that it is always possible for individuals to have allergic reactions or individual sensitivities to plants, so consuming any wild plant should be done with caution and awareness of one's own sensitivities.

    • To pets

      The plant commonly referred to as smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris) is not known to be toxic to pets. There are no specific symptoms associated with poisoning from this plant in domestic animals like cats and dogs. As with humans, pets can have varying sensitivities, and it is advised to prevent ingestion of non-food plants to avoid potential adverse reactions or gastrointestinal discomfort. If you suspect your pet has consumed a significant amount of any plant and is showing signs of distress, it's best to consult with a vet.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 feet 6 inches (46 cm)

    • Spread

      1 feet (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Supports biodiversity: Crepis capillaris, commonly known as smooth hawksbeard, provides nectar and pollen for a variety of insects, promoting a diverse ecosystem.
    • Soil stabilization: The root system of smooth hawksbeard can help bind soil, reducing erosion and promoting soil health.
    • Wildlife food source: The seeds of smooth hawksbeard are a food source for birds and small mammals, contributing to the local food chain.
    • Aesthetic value: With its bright yellow flowers, smooth hawksbeard can add beauty to natural landscapes and gardens, enhancing visual appeal.
    • Habitat creation: Smooth hawksbeard can contribute to the creation of habitats by providing cover and nesting materials for certain insects and small animals.
    • Edibility: The leaves of smooth hawksbeard can be eaten in salads or cooked as a leaf vegetable, providing a source of food for humans.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Crepis capillaris, commonly known as Smooth Hawk's-beard, can be used as a food dye, its yellow flowers potentially providing a soft natural color.
    • The milky sap of Smooth Hawk's-beard has been used in traditional craft to serve as a weak adhesive for small items.
    • Smooth Hawk's-beard, due to its rapid growth, is sometimes cultivated as a quick cover crop in agriculture to prevent soil erosion.
    • The plant's fibrous stem has historically been used in paper-making processes as a raw material for pulp.
    • The leaves of Smooth Hawk's-beard are edible and can be added to salads for a slightly bitter taste, serving as a wild foraged food.
    • Children sometimes use the fluffy seed heads of Smooth Hawk's-beard to play, as they can be blown into the air much like dandelions.
    • Dried floral stems of Smooth Hawk's-beard can be incorporated into rustic floral arrangements and natural craft projects.
    • The rosettes of Smooth Hawk's-beard may be used as a natural green dye for coloring textiles and wool.
    • Smooth Hawk's-beard seed heads have been used in traditional down-like stuffing for small pillows or as a tinder for starting fires.
    • The plant can act as a companion plant, attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs and hoverflies to the garden.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Hawk's-beard is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Hawk's-beard is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Crepis capillaris, commonly known as Smooth Hawk's-beard, is a wildflower that thrives in various environments. Its ability to grow in diverse conditions symbolizes resilience and adaptability.
    • Fertility: The plant's prolific seed production signifies fertility and abundance, suggesting an association with growth and the proliferation of life.
    • New Beginnings: As a wildflower that often pops up in disturbed ground, the Smooth Hawk's-beard represents new beginnings and the start of a journey.
    • Transformation: The transition of Smooth Hawk's-beard from a tight bud to a fully bloomed flower is symbolic of transformation and the unfolding of events.
    • Simplicity: Its modest and unassuming appearance is a reminder to appreciate simplicity and find beauty in humble forms.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Rarely required
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Hawk's-beard should be watered moderately, ensuring the top soil dries out between watering sessions to prevent overwatering. In general, watering once a week with approximately 16-24 ounces of water should suffice, depending on the environmental conditions such as heat and humidity which could necessitate more frequent watering. It's better to water deeply and less frequently to encourage strong root growth. During the dormant winter months, reduce the frequency but do not allow the soil to completely dry out.

  • sunLight

    Hawk's-beard thrives in full sunlight, so it's best placed in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, especially in the hottest parts of the day. The ideal location would receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade to protect it from intense midday heat.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Hawk's-beard grows best in temperatures ranging from 50°F to 75°F. While it can survive brief periods of cold down to 32°F and heat up to 90°F, it's important to protect it from extreme temperature fluctuations. The ideal temperature range promotes robust growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Hawk's-beard helps to maintain its shape, encourage new growth, and remove any dead or diseased foliage. Light pruning can be done throughout the growing season as needed. The best time for more extensive pruning is in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This prepares the plant for a vigorous start to the season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Smooth Hawk's-beard (Crepis capillaris) is well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0-7.0. A mixture of loamy soil, sand, and organic compost can provide nutrients and proper drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Smooth Hawk's-beard (Crepis capillaris) typically does not require frequent repotting as it grows well in natural conditions and as a wildflower, it is not commonly maintained in pots for long periods.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Smooth Hawk's-beard (Crepis capillaris) is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and typically does well in the natural outdoor humidity levels found in its growing regions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Crepis capillaris, commonly known as smooth hawksbeard, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in spring, usually after a period of cold stratification which breaks dormancy. The seedling emerges and develops a basal rosette of foliage as it enters the vegetative stage. As it matures, the plant sends up flower stalks with numerous small yellow florets, typically blooming in late spring to summer. After pollination, often by insects, the flowers develop into achenes equipped with a pappus, a tuft of hairs that aids in wind dispersal. These seeds are released as the plant completes its reproductive cycle, and they may germinate to start new plants or enter a period of dormancy in the soil seed bank. The plant is an annual or biennial, meaning its lifecycle is completed within one or two growing seasons, respectively.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Propogation: Crepis capillaris, commonly known as smooth hawksbeard, is typically propagated through its seeds. The most popular method involves sowing the seeds directly in the desired location in the garden. The best time to sow these seeds is in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed, ensuring that soil temperatures have warmed up sufficiently to support germination. One should scatter the seeds thinly onto well-drained soil and lightly cover them with a thin layer of soil, no more than 1/8 inch (about 3 millimeters) deep. Water gently and keep consistently moist until germination occurs, which usually takes between 7 to 14 days. Once seedlings have established, thin them to prevent overcrowding, allowing them to grow robustly.