Hawksbeard Plant Information
Hawksbeard grows in the following 51 states:Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
The genus is distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and Africa, and several plants are known as introduced species practically worldwide. The center of diversity is in the Mediterranean.Crepis, commonly known in some parts of the world as hawksbeard or hawk's-beard (but not to be confused with the related genus Hieracium with a similar common name), is a genus of annual and perennial flowering plants of the family Asteraceae superficially resembling the dandelion, the most conspicuous difference being that Crepis usually has branching scapes with multiple heads (though solitary heads can occur). The genus name Crepis derives from the Greek krepis, meaning "slipper" or "sandal", possibly in reference to the shape of the fruit.
Crepis species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the broad-barred white moth. The fly Tephritis formosa is known to attack the capitula of this plant.
Seeds of Crepis species are an important food source for some bird species.
In Crete, Greece the leaves of Crepis commutata which is called glykosyrida () is eaten raw, boiled, steamed or browned in salads. Another two species on the same island, Crepis vesicaria, called kokkinogoula (), lekanida () or prikousa () and a local variety called maryies () or pikrouses () have both its leaves and tender shoots eaten boiled by the locals.
The genus Crepis is a rich source of costus lactone-type guaianolides, a class of sesquiterpene lactones.
Phenolics found in Crepis include luteolin-type flavonoids and caffeoyl quinic acid derivatives such as chlorogenic acid and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid. Moreover, Crepis species contain the caffeoyl tartaric acid derivatives caffeoyl tartaric acid and cichoric acid.
There are about 200 species in the genus.
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