rattlesnake weed (Hieracium venosum)
Hieracium venosum var. nudicaule (Michx.) Farw.
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name of rattlesnake
weed is Hieracium venosum L.
NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States and Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Habit: Rattlesnake weed is a native perennial that reaches a stem height
of 12 to 30 inches tall.
Leaves: It has a leafless floral stalk, with elliptical basal leaves, 1.5 to 6
inches long, blades obovate or elliptic to oblanceolate, with conspicuous
heavy purple- red veins (purplish and hairy below). Long, soft hairs can
be found near the stem, becoming nearly hairless to hairless on distal por-
tions of stem. Leaves wedge-shaped, with the narrow part at the point of
attachment with margins usually entire, sometimes with widely-spaced,
sharp, outward-pointing teeth on the margin. Leaf point usually rounded
to acute, narrowed at the base into petioles, though sometimes sessile.
Lower face of leaf having having long, soft, straight hairs to stiff, coarse
hairs, upper face of leaf hairless to having long, soft, sraight hairs, mostly
near leaf margins.
Flowers: Yellow dandelion-like flowers, heads 1/2 to 3/4 inches across,
4 to 10 in a broad, flat-topped inflorescence or an elongate, unbranched
inflorescence, on a long, wiry stem. Each floral head containing fifteen to
forty ray flowers.
Fruit/Seeds: Cypselae (usually black, sometimes red-brown) columnar,
Roots: Insufficient information.
REGENERATION PROCESS: Rattlesnake weed propogates itself
HABITAT TYPES: Rattlesnake weed prefers open woods, clearings,
sandy hillsides, and thickets.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Rattlesnake weed prefers sun to partial
shade and is generally found in poor to sandy soils.
SEASONAL PROCESS: Rattlesnake weed flowers from late spring
till fall (May to October), an unusually long period of time.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Rattlesnake weed is found throughout
the eastern United States as far west as the Mississippi River, only oc-
casionally found in Missouri. Less common in Canadian provinces;
Ontario but not reported from more eastern or maritime provinces.
Also reported in British Columbia, where is was probably introduced.
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: To be determined.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: There is insufficient information concern-
ing the importance of Hieracium venosum to widelife.
The Cherokee Indians used rattlesnake weed as a gastrointestinal aid; a
compound infusion of root was given for bowel complaints.
Crooked Run Valley