Annuals or biennials, 10-90 cm (taproots shallow). Stems 1(-6+), erect to ± procumbent, usually simple (usually with single stout leader, sometimes multiple with slender laterals), hispid proxi-mally or throughout. Leaves: basal and cauline; petiolate (petiole bases clasping); blades lanceolate or ob-lanceolate, runcinate or lyrate, 5-30 × 1-4.5 cm, margins pinnately divided to sharply dentate (lobes remote, unequal), apices obtuse or acute, mucronate, faces glabrous or sparsely hispid (hairs yellow; proximal cauline auriculate and clasping). Heads 10-15(-30+), in corymbiform arrays. Calyculi of 8, linear, tomentulose or stipitate-glandular bractlets 2-4 mm. Involucres cylindric to turbinate, 5-8 × 3-6 mm. Phyllaries 8-16, lanceolate, 6-7 mm (margins scarious), apices acute, abaxial faces stipitate-glandular and glandular setose (setae black, usually in 2 rows), adaxial glabrous. Florets 20-60. corollas deep yellow (reddish abaxially), 8-12 mm (hairy). Cypselae brownish yellow, fusiform, 1.5-2.5 mm, apices narrowed (not beaked), ribs 10 (glabrous or scabrous); pappi white (fluffy), 3-4 mm (scarcely surpassing phyllaries). 2n = 6.
Crepis capillaris is recognized by its shallow root system, dense rosettes of coarsely dentate or pinnately lobed leaves, erect slender stems, auriculate-based cauline leaves, relatively small heads, phyllaries with double rows of black setae, and fluffy white pappi. It is weedy and can become a serious lawn pest. It is one of only three species of Crepis with 2n = 6; E. B. Babcock (1947) considered it to be advanced in the genus.
Taprooted annual or biennial 2-9 dm, often much branched; stem hispidulous at least near the base; lvs glabrous or hispidulous, the basal to 30 נ4.5 cm, petiolate, lanceolate or oblanceolate, denticulate to runcinate-pinnatifid or even bipinnatifid; cauline lvs progressively reduced, clasping and acutely auriculate; heads several to usually numerous; invol 5-8 mm, tomentose and often glandular-bristly with black hairs as well; inner bracts 8-16, becoming spongy- thickened on the back; outer bracts linear, up to half as long as the inner; receptacle glabrous; fls 20-60; achenes mostly tawny or pale brown, 1.5-2.5 mm, narrowed at both ends, ca 10-ribbed; 2n=6. Native of Europe, sparingly intr. in meadows, pastures, lawns, and waste places in our range. July-Oct.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
I found this species well established in Fairview Cemetery at Bluffton in 1923. In 1935 it had spread, which shows that when it is established it will persist unless diligent efforts are made to eradicate it. It would seem that constant mowing in a cemetery would kill it, but it thrives nevertheless. It is plentiful in the lawn of St. Mary's College, St. Joseph County.