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Taraxacum officinale

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ta-RAKS-uh-kum oh-fiss-ih-NAH-lee
Description

Broadleaf perennial weed, fast-spreading, generally spread by seed, but once established are not affected by pre-emergent herbicides.  Not generally used in the home landscape.  They form deep taproots and the whole plant contains a milky latex sap.   The common name dandelion comes from the French 'dent de lion' which translates to "lion's tooth" referring to the deep green leaves that are toothed.

Dandelions have many positive features, such as:

  • They provide nectar and pollen to honeybees and other beneficial insects, particularly important in early spring when they are one of the only plants in bloom
  • Their leaves, roots, and flowers are all edible.  Young flowers taste like honey but they become bitter when they mature.  Use flowers in wine, jam, and salads.  The root is a coffee substitute.
  • Their roots can break up compact soils.
  • Their seed head is a beautiful puffball and delights young and old when they blow on it to disperse the seed
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#yellow#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#food source#pollinator plant#edible garden#perennial weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#yellow#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#food source#pollinator plant#edible garden#perennial weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Taraxacum
    Species:
    officinale
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The root was dried and roasted and used as a coffee alternative during the second world war. It has also been used medicinally.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eurasia
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers provide nectar to pollinators and bees.
    Edibility:
    Leaves flowers are used in salads and stir-fries. Roots are roasted and used as a coffee alternative.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Perennial
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Fluffy downy round seeds heads are dispersed by wind
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Bright yellow ray flowers with toothed tips appear throughout the year on second-year plants. They are singular heads on their stems and the flowers close in the evening.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Deeply toothed, with backward-pointing teeth or lobes. Oblanceolate shape form a basal rosette.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Hollow stems are reproductive (scapes) exude a milky sap they are leafless and unbranched
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Problems:
    Weedy