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.
Hawkweed3

Hawkweed1

Hawkweed4

Japanese Hawkweed flowers are quite small and grow in clusters.
HawkweedFlowers

Close-up of flowers.
JapaneseHawkweedFlowers

Japanese Hawkweed

Japanese Hawkweed leaves.
Japanese Hawkweed Leaves IGFB14

Young Japanese Hawkweed plant.
GoatsBeard1

Japanese hawkweed invading a yard.
Japanese Hawkweed Seedlings IGFB14

Japanese Hawkweed Crepis

Flowering Japanese Hawkweed.
Gotsbeard2

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.
Crepis

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

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 and roots are too small to be used like those from dandelions. On the plus side, the leaves are less bitter than most of the other members of the dandelion family.

Like all the other dandelion-mimics, Japanese Hawkweed is best eaten before the flower stalk appears. Its leaves become somewhat bitter once the flowers begin blooming. Treat these leaves as described in the other tips for preparing bitter greens. The basic methods are boil, wilt with bacon grease, mix with an acidic/sour dressing, or dilute them with bland greens.

Edible Dandelion Mimics:
Dandelion
Cat's Ear
Chicory
Japanese Hawkweed
Salsify
Sow Thistle
Texas Dandelion
Wild Lettuce


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