August 7, 2015

Taraxacum officinale Weber in Wiggers

Life cycle

Rosette-forming simple perennial.

Dandelion plant
Dandelion plant.


All leaves originate from a basal rosette. Leaves are oblong to spatula-shaped, ranging from 2 to 10 inches long with deep, backward-pointing lobes. Leaves remain green year round and exude a milky sap when damaged.

Dandelion seedling
Dandelion seedling.


Vegetative stems are not visible aboveground. Forms a deep, thick taproot.

Flowers and fruit

Bright yellow, solitary flower heads consisting of only ray flowers are 1 to 2 inches wide and found at the ends of unbranched, hollow, leafless flowering stalks. The seed is enclosed in a single-seeded, wind-disseminated fruit that forms in a globe-shaped collection.

Dandelion flower dandelion flower mature
Yellow flower head of dandelion (left). Mature dandelion seedhead (right).


Seeds and new shoots from a taproot.

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