Youngia japonica

Oriental false hawksbeard

Nonnative to Florida

Species Overview

Oriental false hawksbeard (Youngia japonica) is a pantropical weed that has spread widely beyond its native range. Reported a common in the southeastern United States by the 1930s it has been moved unintentionally molt likely through contaminated seed, crops, and ornamental plant material. In Florida it blooms most profusely in summer but can be found in bloom year-round.

Species Characteristics

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Annual herb up to around 30 -50 inches.

Leaves: Around 3-6 inches long and 1-3 inches wide. Form a basal rosette of light green lobed hairy leaves and linear upper leaves. They emit a white milky sap when crushed or torn.

Flowers: Stems terminate into branched inflorescences of small (1/2 inch in diameter) yellow flowers with many narrow petals.

Fruit/seed: Brown achene with white hairs.

Distribution in Florida: Statewide


While it prefers moist conditions, Oriental false hawksbeard is highly adaptable to many growing conditions. It is noted as a weed in agricultural, landscape, and natural settings. It can become very numerous in disturbed sites but has also been recorded in intact natural areas. It spreads very easily via numerous seeds which are carried on the wind and in plant material as well as on equipment and clothing.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

Always decontaminate equipment and clothing after working in areas where it is present. Look for and remove plants before they go to seed.


Hand pull being sure to remove all roots and stems.


Mowing is ineffective as plants regrow quickly.


None currently known.


Research needed.

Learn more about this species

Atlas of Florida Plants


USDA Plant Database

Invasive Species Compendium