Definition of hawkweed in English:



mass noun
  • A widely distributed plant of the daisy family that typically has small yellow flower heads, often growing as a weed.

    Genus Hieracium, family Compositae

    • ‘In lawns, mowing of hawkweeds is ineffective because the low-lying rosettes are missed by mower blades.’
    • ‘Hawks, whose survival depended on good eyesight, are said to have visited the hawkweeds to drink their juice to strengthen their eyesight.’
    • ‘We were not able to find out whether the few-leaved hawkweed was native or European in origin.’
    • ‘Most hawkweeds have the characteristic orange flower on top of a slender stalk.’
    • ‘He has been studying hawkweed as a candidate for biocontrol.’
    • ‘The ancient Greeks believed that the sap of hawkweeds was responsible for the keen eyesight of hawks.’
    • ‘The grant will also assist in raising the profile of hawkweeds in the islands and engaging volunteers in hawkweed conservation efforts.’
    • ‘Several alternative common names for yellow and orange hawkweed contain the word ‘devil’.’
    • ‘Fertilizers and soil fertility management have been used to effectively control hawkweeds in some areas.’
    • ‘Orange hawkweed is quite widespread in New Zealand and has the potential to become a major problem there.’
    • ‘Orange hawkweed has a shallow root system and underground creeping stems called rhizomes.’
    • ‘Orange hawkweed has above ground runners, grows to 0.6 metres tall, and contains a milky juice.’
    • ‘Treatments such as fertilization can increase the competitive ability of more desirable plants, preventing hawkweeds from becoming established.’
    • ‘Orange hawkweed is found from western Washington to Wyoming and is known to occur in eastern states.’
    • ‘Orange hawkweed is the only species with orange flowers and a typically leafless stem.’


Late Old English, rendering Latin hieracium, based on Greek hierax ‘hawk’: Pliny believed that hawks fed on this plant to strengthen their eyesight.