Catsear or false dandelion

Catsear (Hypochoeris radicata).

Catsear is also known as Flatweed or False Dandelion due to its close resemblance to Dandelions. We discuss how to remove Catsear from your lawn and turf by cultural and chemical means.

After you read this, you will be able to:

  • Identify False Dandelion, Catsear Weed or Flatweed .
  • Know the habitat of Catsear, Dandelion or Flatweed.
  • Know the best cultural and chemical options to control this weed.

False Dandelion is a perennial edible weed. It is present in lawns, low cut turf and road verges.

It is toxic to horses and causes stringhalt

Catsear is a good sign of well draining soil. More information on turf weeds is in our weed ID chart.


How to Identify Catsear.

False Dandelion is a low growing weed and has basal rosette of wavy edged leaves. Many raised stiff, and unbranched hairs cover these leaves.
Category: Broadleaf (Dicot).
Flower: It has bright yellow flowers that produce seeds that spread by wind.
Height: False Dandelion grows up to a height of 80 cm.
Leaf length: The leaves of false dandelion are 2-30 cm long.
Leaf width: The leaf width is 10-40 mm wide.
Reproduction: Catsear reproduces from seed.
Comments: Coarse hairs cover the leaves that have toothed edges.
Habitat: False Dandelion prefers bare, thin, wet areas and disturbed soil. It has some salt tolerance. Mow too low, and this favours this weed and stimulates flower growth.



How to Remove catsear weed.

You can use cultural and chemical means to remove Catsear Weed from your lawn and turf.

Cultural control.

Remove and destroy flower heads before they seed. If buds or flowers are present when you dig it up, this weed still sets seeds. Once you remove the crown, the plant cannot grow back. Do not compost buds or flowers.


Chemical control.

There are several weed killers that control Catsear Weed. But, you get the best results if you treat this in the Autumn when the plant is young.
Non selective options include Glyphosate (Rapid Fire 800). If you use this and water quality is an issue then we recommend the use of ProForce Manta Ray.