Autumn hawkbit is an attractive, short, sometimes sprawling grassland perennial. Likely to be confused with Catsear, but with a stem that swells towards the top, no chaffy scales among the florets and with outer florets that are reddish beneath, rather than greyish or greenish as is the case with Catsear. Flowers form in loose clusters and bloom from July to October. The leaves of the basal rosette have sharper tips and sharper lobes than either Catsear or Rough hawkbit. See Rough hawkbit for more on the identification of dandelion-like plants.
NB Until recently this species was know by the old botanical name of Leontodon autumnalis.
Autumn hawkbit, the commonest of our hawkbits, is a rosette forming, long lived perennial of short turf and open ground on a range of soil types. It is capable of growing on sites subject to periodic disturbance such as cutting and grazing and is particularly characteristic of meadows and pastures on moist, reasonably fertile soils. It rarely spreads by vegetative means and is dependent upon seed for regeneration; it therefore requires gaps created by disturbance if its seedlings are to establish successfully.
Seed is best sown in the spring but can be used at any time of the year.