Taraxacum officinale (ASTERACEAE) Dandelion

Weeds to Whack

A short-lived perennial herb which develops a rosette of leaves and a deep tap-root, native to Europe. A widespread and common weed of lawns, roadsides, neglected areas and sometimes pastures and cultivation. Leaves are somewhat saw-toothed in outline and the margins are also toothed, may be hairless or have a sparse covering of rough hairs, may contain a white latex sap.

Photo: Mark Crocker

Flower

Flower heads are yellow and daisy-like, approximately 3 cm across, with many ‘petals’ (ray florets). Each flower-head is carried on a separate 30 cm long erect and hollow stalk. Flowering occurs during spring and early summer. Seeds are 4-5 mm long with a 8-12 mm long beak that has a 5-7 mm long white, silky tuft of hairs (pappus) at its apex.
Photo: Mark Crocker