Taraxacum pankhurstianum, also known as the St Kilda Dandelion, is a new species of dandelion that was discovered in 2012 on the island of Hirta, the largest island in the St Kilda archipelago, on the western edge of Scotland.
The plant has, so far, only been found on the island of Hirta which was abandoned by its last residents in 1936. Botanists believe it may be endemic to the area and among the rarest plants in Scotland's flora. The flower may have originated in Iceland and was carried to Hirta by birds, or the Vikings. It may be rare on St Kilda because it is eaten by animals including sheep and perhaps, some birds.
It is the presence of unique hairy exterior bracts on the flower bud that led botanists to believe it is a new species of Asteraceae, the largest family of flowering plants. The St Kilda dandelion is also much smaller than the common species.
- Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh. "New Dandelion Found". http://www.rbge.org.uk/about-us/news/stories/new-dandelion-found. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- BBC News. "New species of dandelion discovered on St Kilda island". http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18628463. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- UK Press Association. "New species of dandelion found". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hqNcpGLslItnoQ29XEezf-aVYxGw?docId=N0166491340902107249A. Retrieved June 29, 2012.