Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)
UPDATE: Since writing this article, we have found Orange Hawkweed growing in Highland Park, so we know now that it is found in the city of Pittsburgh.
Also called “Devil’s Paintbrush,” on the principle that attributes anything striking or bright in nature to satanic forces. Gray gives another name, Grim the Collier, that refers to a traditional character who gets the best of the devil in folk tales, putting our subject on the side of good rather than evil.
This would be an ordinary dandelion-like weed, except that the flowers are bright orange, making it one of our showiest wild flowers. It seldom or never comes as far south as the city of Pittsburgh itself, but begins to be seen in the northern fringes of our area, and becomes quite common farther north in Pennsylvania. This plant grew at a roadside rest stop in Crawford County, where it was blooming in late June.
This species is often placed in the genus Pilosella, but there seems to be much uncertainty. The imperfectly omniscient Wikipedia leads us on a merry chase: Hieracium aurantiacum redirects to Pilosella aurantiaca, but Pilosella redirects to Hieracium.
Gray describes the genus and the species:
HIERACIUM [Tourn.] L. HAWKWEED
Heads 12-many-flowered. Involucre more or less imbricated. Achenes short, oblong or columnar, striate, not beaked; pappus a single row of tawny and fragile capillary rough bristles. —Hispid or hirsute and often glandular perennials, with entire or toothed leaves, and single or panicled heads of mostly yellow flowers; summer and early autumn. (Name from hierax, a hawk.)
* Flowers orange-red.
H. aurantiacum L. (ORANGE H., DEVIL’S PAINT-BRUSH, GRIM THE COLLIER.) Long-hirsute; leaves oblanceolate, 6-15 cm. long, green on both sides; a stolons numerous, slender; scape 2-6 dm. high, usually 1-2-bracted; heads about 2 cm. broad. Fields, etc., e. Que. to Ont. and Pa., locally too abundant. June, July. (Nat. from Eu.)