Taraxacum pankhurstianum, also known as the St Kilda Dandelion, is a species of dandelion that was identified as new in 2012 after being cultivated at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh from seed collected two years previously on the island of Hirta, the largest island in the St Kilda archipelago, on the western edge of Scotland.
It was named for Richard Pankhurst, a retired staff member at the garden who suggested that the seed be collected.
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 June 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.