Aug. 19, 2019

narrowleaf hawkweed, Hieracium umbellatum

Scientific truth? This is a hawkweed. There are 9000 species of hawkweed. Or there are 250. We will never know, and we will always know how many. Hawkweeds mostly reproduce by fertilizing themselves. They create successive generations just like the last. This means large populations of plants with consistent traits that are slightly different than other related populations. If you take each strain, describe it and name it, you get maybe 9000 species. Or you can try to decide which ones are close enough to each other to be lumped together. In today's example, we seem to have H. umbellatum. But I quickly found three respected works that would call this H. kalmii, or H. canadense. Each could be true, depending on the level of detail you want to describe. This of course also means the distribution is hard to know. This grows more or less in AK, CA, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OR, WV, WY, in all provinces except NT, NU, and YT, on GL, and Eurasia. And I just got up to check the Eurasia part, and quickly fond a list that includes ME, OH, RI, SD, WV, NT, NU, YT, and SPM. Chippewa Co MI, 8/10/19.