Like the Hawkweeds, except the Mouse-ear Hawkweed, this is apparently quite a modern Composite. At the present day it is found in the Northern Temperate Zone in Europe, and N. Africa. In Great Britain it is found everywhere, except in Roxburgh, as far north as the Orkneys. In the Highlands one may find it growing at a height of 1600 ft., and it is native in Ireland and the Channel Islands.

The Cat's Ear is one of those exceedingly familiar meadow plants that are to be found practically in every field and meadow throughout the length and breadth of the land.

It is perhaps more partial to lowland districts, though it is also found on hills, and at high elevations. Like Hawksbeard it is found also on waste ground and along the wayside.

The aerial stems are scapes, or flowering stems. A characteristic feature is the long root, which is white, simple, and milky, hence the English and second Latin name. The radical leaves are prostrate, lying on the ground in a rosette, flat, oblong, and the leaf segments are turned back, rough, toothed, hairy, the hairs originating from minute points.