Common Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale
Asteraceae or Sunflower Family


Low plant with yellow dandelion flowers on hollow, naked flowerstalks.  Leaves all basal, that is growing from the ground. Leaves are saw-toothed, but at least some have an untoothed oval section toward the tip.  Seedhead a tuft of seeds, each with a downy parachute to carry it away on the wind. Seeds olive brown. Blooms any time of the year it feels like, but mostly in mid-spring.

An alien weed of lawns, roadsides and waste places, nearly worldwide.  Occasional along the Riverway and Wildwood Drive.  Blooms from early spring to early winter.

Everybody knows dandelions.  Red-seeded dandelion is very similar, but has red seeds (surprise!) and all leaves are saw-toothed to the pointed tip. In early spring, dandelions could be confused with coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), but that plant has no leaves at flowering time, and scaly stems.  In summer and fall, a number of other plants have dandelion-like flowers, but all are taller and have true stems; see field hawkweed, autumn dandelion, cat's ear and smooth hawksbeard..

Flowerhead from side   Plant
Leaf   Leaf

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