Japanese Hawkweed

Scientific name(s):  Crepis japonica and Youngia japonica
Abundance: plentiful
What:  young leaves and shoots, roots
How:  raw or cooked, roots roasted for coffee
Where:   disturbed areas
When:   winter/spring/fall
Nutritional Value: minerals and antioxidants
Other uses: After flower stalks have appeared mashed leaves can be used to soothe insect bites/stings.

Japanese Hawkweed.



Closeup of flowers.


Young Japanese Hawkweed plant.

Flowering Japanese Hawkweed.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Appearing just about everywhere there is grass, Japanese hawkweed appears to be a dandelion but with clusters of tiny, yellow flowers. It is a close relative of dandelions and contains all the same beneficial nutrients. Unfortunately its flowers are too small to be used like dandelions flowers. Like many crepis species, its leaves become very bitter once the flower stalks appear. Boiling in a change or two of water will help remove some of the bitterness, but the end result still isn't very appetizing.

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