Rattlesnake Weed

Hieracium venosum

The leaves of this plant are the real attraction. A basal rosette of oval, bluish green leaves hugs the forest floor. Each leaf is outlined with deep purple veins that form a net-like pattern.

From May to September, the plant can be found in bloom in shady, dry forests. The dandelion-like, yellow flower heads appear in open clusters on a long, leafless stalk.

The common name of this native perennial comes from the fact that it occurs in the same dry, mountain habitats preferred by rattlesnakes! In fact, these photographs were taken in the Jefferson National Forest, near Glen Alton, which is one of my favorite haunts.  Yikes! 🙂

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