Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale Weber in Wiggers Asteraceae (Aster family)

Life cycle

Rosette-forming simple perennial.

dandelion plant
Dandelion plant.

Leaves

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

dandelion seedling
Dandelion seedling.

Stems

Vegetative stems are not visible aboveground. Plant 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 yellow flower head
Yellow flower head of dandelion.

Reproduction

Seeds and new shoots from a taproot.

dandelion mature seedhead
Mature dandelion seedhead.

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