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Overview

Brief Summary

Dandelions are probably the best known flower. Most people consider it a weed, removing it from their lawns as quickly as possible. Being a composite, one plant is made up of dozens of flowers, producing a fluff of seeds. There are many different species and subspecies of dandelion. The red-seeded dandelion is found on dry soils, particularly in the dunes of North and South Holland and locally on the Wadden Islands. It grows in soils that are slightly rich in humus, moderately nutrient-poor and containing calcium. The entire plant is edible.
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Biology

Dandelions have deep taproots, and the whole plant contains a milky fluid known as latex (6). It is perennial, and flowers throughout the year (5). The flowers close at night, and can produce around 2,000 wind-dispersed fruits (1). Plants can also regenerate from pieces of the tap root (1). Although generally regarded as a weed, dandelions have many uses, both culinary and medicinal (6). It is a scientifically proven diuretic and laxative (4), and has also been used as a tonic, to treat rheumatic problems, and as a blood purifier (6). Young leaves and flowers are used in salads, stir-fries and other recipes, and the root can be dried to make a substitute for coffee, a practice that was common during the rationing of the Second World War (4).
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Description

Dandelions are well-known, robust weeds; the common name derives from the French 'dent de lion', meaning 'lion's tooth', which refers to the deeply toothed, deep green leaves (4), which are arranged in rosettes (5). The bright yellow flower heads are borne on hollow stalks (5), and the downy seed heads are familiar to children as dandelion clocks, which are used to 'tell the time' by the number of blows taken to remove the seeds (4). Vernacular names for the dandelion include 'wet-the-bed' and 'pissy-beds', which refer to the belief that just touching part of a dandelion can cause bed-wetting (4). As most British dandelions produce fruit without being fertilised (they are 'apomictic'), substantial problems arise with the taxonomy of these plants. This group is a 'complex' consisting of around 200 microspecies, and is typically treated as a species aggregate, denoted as 'Taraxacum officinale agg.' (1).
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Comprehensive Description

Description

This introduced perennial plant consists of a rosette of basal leaves and occasional flowering stalks. The basal leaves are individually up to 10" long and 2½" across. The typical basal leaf is broader toward its outer tip than at the base (oblanceolate) in outline, although it is more or less lobed (pinnatifid) along its length. These lobes are triangular. The margins are slightly wavy and irregular, and sometimes coarsely dentate. There is a prominent central vein along the length of each leaf that is hollow and contains milky juice. This vein is usually green, but it sometimes becomes reddish green toward the base. The leaves are usually hairless, although young leaves are sometimes slightly pubescent. From the center of the rosette, one or more flowering stalks are produced that are up to 18" tall, although usually 12" or less. Each slender stalk is round and hollow, and contains milky juice. It is usually light green, sometimes becoming light reddish green toward the base. There may be some appressed cobwebby hairs along its length. At the apex of each flowering stalk, there is a single yellow flowerhead about 1-2" across.  This flowerhead has about 150-200 yellow ray florets and no disk florets; the ray florets spread outward from the center. At the base of the flowerhead, there are inner and outer bracts that are green. The inner bracts are linear or linear-lanceolate and appressed together to form a cylindrical tube around the ovaries of the flowerhead. The outer bracts are linear-lanceolate and sharply curve downward. The flowerheads are produced sporadically from early spring to late fall; they are most like to occur during the late spring or early summer. There is a pleasant floral scent that is somewhat musty and pollen-laden. Each ray floret produces a single slender achene that is light brown, light gray, or slightly olive green. An achene has 5-10 longitudinal ribs with tiny teeth toward its apex. A long slender beak connects the achene with a tuft of white hairs. This beak is 2-3 times as long as the achene. Collectively, these tufts of hair produce a spheroid mass that is white and feathery in appearance. The achenes are dispersed by the wind. The root system consists of a stout taproot that is up to 3' long (if not more). This taproot contains milky juice and is somewhat fleshy. This plant spreads by reseeding itself. It can form large colonies.
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Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, High elevation, Naturalized, Native of Tropical America"
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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"Maharashtra: Pune Tamil Nadu: Dindigul, Nilgiri , Salem, Theni"
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Occurrence in North America

     AL  AK  AZ  AR  CA  CO  CT  DE  FL  GA
     HI  ID  IL  IN  IA  KS  KY  LA  ME  MD
     MA  MI  MN  MS  MO  MT  NE  NV  NH  NJ
     NM  NY  NC  ND  OH  OK  OR  PA  RI  SC
     SD  TN  TX  UT  VT  VA  WA  WV  WI  WY
     AB  BC  MB  NB  NF  NT  NS  ON  PQ  SK
     YT  MEXICO

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Common dandelion is of Eurasian origin but has become naturalized throughout
the United States.  It occurs in all 50 states, almost all Canadian
provinces, and Mexico [62,126].
  • 62.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563]
  • 126.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1971.        Common weeds of the United States. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.        463 p.  [2378]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

    1  Northern Pacific Border
    2  Cascade Mountains
    3  Southern Pacific Border
    4  Sierra Mountains
    5  Columbia Plateau
    6  Upper Basin and Range
    7  Lower Basin and Range
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau
   13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont
   14  Great Plains
   15  Black Hills Uplift
   16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

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Range

Dandelions are common and widespread throughout Britain (3). The Taraxacum aggregate has a wide, circumpolar distribution (2).
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Nepal.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: cool-season, forb

Common dandelion is an introduced, cool-season, perennial forb [140].  It has a
thick taproot up to 6 inches (15.2 cm) long [135].  Stems are very short
and wholly underground, producing a rosette of leaves at the ground
surface.  Leaves are 2 to 16 inches (5-40 cm) long [134].  The flower
heads are solitary at the end of naked, hollow stalks.  Stalks can reach
heights up to 2 feet (60 cm) [126,135].  One head contains from 100 to
300 flowers [126].  Seeds of common dandelion are topped by a parachute of
bristles that aid in dissemination [55].

Common dandelion forms vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal associations
[15,37].
   
  • 15.  Berch, Shannon M.; Gamiet, Sharmin; Deom, Elisabeth. 1988. Mycorrhizal        status of some plants of southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal        of Botany. 66: 1924-1928.  [8841]
  • 37.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 55.  Holmgren, Arthur H. 1958. Weeds of Utah. Special Report 12. Logan, UT:        Utah State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 85 p.  [2935]
  • 126.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1971.        Common weeds of the United States. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.        463 p.  [2378]
  • 134.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 135.  Whitson, Tom D., ed. 1987. Weeds and poisonous plants of Wyoming and        Utah. Res. Rep. 116-USU. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, College of        Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. 281 p.  [2939]
  • 140.  Stubbendieck, J.; Hatch, Stephan L.; Hirsch, Kathie J. 1986. North        American range plants. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska        Press. 465 p.  [2270]

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Description

Plants (1–)5–40(–60) cm; taproots seldom branched. Stems 1–10+, erect or ascending, sometimes ± purplish (usually equaling or surpassing leaves), glabrous or sparsely villous, slightly more so distally. Leaves 20+, horizontal to erect; petioles ± narrowly winged; blades oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate (often runcinate), (4–)5–45 × (0.7–)1–10 cm, bases attenuate to narrowly cuneate, margins usually shallowly to deeply lobed to lacerate or toothed, lobes retrorse, broadly to narrowly triangular to nearly lanceolate, acute to long-acuminate, terminals ± as large as distal laterals, ultimate margins toothed or entire (secondary lobules irregular, perpendicular to retrorse), teeth minute to pronounced apices acute to acuminate or obtuse, faces glabrous or sparsely villous (commonly on midveins). Calyculi of 12–18, reflexed, sometimes ± glaucous, lanceolate bractlets in 2 series, 6–12 × 2.8–3.5 mm, margins very narrowly white-scarious, sometimes villous-ciliate distally, apices acuminate, hornless. Involucres green to dark green or brownish green, tips dark gray or purplish, campanulate, 14–25 mm. Phyllaries 13–18 in 2 series, lanceolate, 2–2.8 mm wide, margins scarious (proximal 2/3) to narrowly scarious, apices acuminate, erose-scarious, usually hornless (seldom appendaged), callous. Florets 40–100+; corollas yellow (orange-yellow), 15–22 × 1.7–2 mm (outer). Cypselae olivaceous or olive-brown, or straw-colored to grayish, bodies oblanceoloid, (2–)2.5–2.8(–4) mm, cones shortly terete, 0.5–0.9 mm, beaks slender, 7–9 mm, ribs 4–12, sharp, faces proximally smooth to ± tuberculate, muricate in distal 1/3; pappi white to sordid, 5–6(–8) mm. 2n = 24, 40, [16, 32].
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Synonym

Leontodon taraxacum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 798. 1753; Taraxacum officinale var. palustre Blytt; T. sylvanicum R. Doll
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: forbs, shrubs

Common dandelion tolerates a wide range of site and soil conditions, but it
most commonly occurs in disturbed areas such as cut-over or burned
forests, avalanche areas, overgrazed ranges, and marshy floodplains
[54,133].  It also occurs sites on highway and railroad rights-of-way,
waste places, old fields, pastures, and lawns [114,126].

Common dandelion occurs on soils that vary from thin layers above permafrost in
the subarctic to deep loams in the western United States [37,114].  Soil
texture ranges from clays and clayey loams to sandy loams.  Common dandelion
does poorly on dense clay soils, saline soils, and acidic soils [37].

Common dandelion occurs on flat to rolling topography or moderate to steep
slopes [27,37].  It is found from sea level to high alpine elevations
[126].  Regional elevational distributions are as follows [27,37,99]:

                                 feet                 meters

Utah                         4,100-11,300           1,250-3,445
Colorado                     4,500-13,500           1,372-4,115
Wyoming                      4,100- 9,600           1,250-2,926
Montana                      2,900- 9,200             884-2,804
Washington                   2,574- 2,722             780-825
Oregon                       7,095- 7,920           2,150-2,400
Alberta                      4,323- 6,336           1,310-1,920

Common shrubs, grasses, and forbs associated with common dandelion include
common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii),
russet buffalo berry (Shepherdia canadensis), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.),
chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), black sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula
nova), Wyoming big sagebrush (A. tridentata ssp. wyomingensis),
Oregon-grape (Mahonia repens), rough fescue (Festuca scabrella), Idaho
fescue (F. idahoensis), slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus),
prairie Junegrass (Koeleria cristata), timber danthonia (Danthonia
intermedia), Richardson's needlegrass (Stipa richardsonii), timothy
(Phleum pratense), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), Kentucky
bluegrass (Poa pratensis), aster (Aster spp.), willowweed (Epilobium
spp.), prairiesmoke avens (Geum triflorum), small-leaf angelica
(Angelica pinnata), Colorado columbine (Aquilegia caerula),
rhexia-leaved paintbrush (Castilleja leonardii), Oregon fleabane
(Erigeron speciousus), wallflower (Erysimum elatum), one-flower
helianthella (Helianthella uniflora), Utah peavine (Lathyrus utahensis),
and Richardson geranium (Geranium richardsonii) [32,83,117,124,129].
 
  • 27.  Cole, David N.; Hall, Troy E. 1992. Trends in campsite condition: Eagle        Cap Wilderness, Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Grand Canyon National Park.        Res. Pap. INT-453. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Intermountain Research Station. 40 p.  [17764]
  • 32.  Crow, T. R.; Mroz, G. D.; Gale, M. R. 1991. Regrowth and nutrient        accumulations following whole-tree harvesting of a maple-oak forest.        Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 1305-1315.  [16600]
  • 37.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 54.  Holloway, Patricia S.; Alexander, Ginny. 1990. Ethnobotany of the Fort        Yukon region, Alaska. Economic Botany. 44(2): 214-225.  [13625]
  • 83.  McInnis, Michael L.; Vavra, Martin. 1986. Summer diets of domestic sheep        grazing mountain meadows in northeastern Oregon. Northwest Science.        60(4): 265-2170.  [1604]
  • 99.  Pratt, David W.; Black, R. Alan; Zamora, B. A. 1984. Buried viable seed        in a ponderosa pine community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 62: 44-52.        [16219]
  • 114.  Staniforth, Richard J.; Scott, Peter A. 1991. Dynamics of weed        populations in a northern subarctic community. Canadian Journal of        Botany. 69: 814-821.  [14944]
  • 117.  Stevens, Richard; McArthur, E. Durant; Davis, James N. 1992.        Reevaluation of vegetative cover changes, erosion, and sedimentation on        two watersheds -- 1912-1983. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant;        Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on        ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31;        Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 123-128.        [19105]
  • 124.  Tyser, Robin W.; Worley, Christopher A. 1992. Alien flora in grasslands        adjacent to road and trail corridors in Glacier National Park, Montana        (U.S.A.). Conservation Biology. 6(2): 253-262.  [19435]
  • 126.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1971.        Common weeds of the United States. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.        463 p.  [2378]
  • 129.  Wakimoto, Ronald H.; Willard, E. Earl. 1991. Monitoring post-fire        vegetation recovery in ponderosa pine and sedge meadow communities in        Glacier National Park, NW Montana. Research Joint Venture Agreement        INT-89441. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 17 p. Progress Report.  [17635]
  • 133.  Weaver, T.; Lichthart, J.; Gustafson, D. 1990. Exotic invasion of        timberline vegetation, Northern Rocky Moutnains, USA. In: Schmidt, Wyman        C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on whitebark        pine ecosystems: ecology and management of a high-mountain resource;        1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station: 208-213.  [11688]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

   Common dandelion is found in nearly all SAF cover types.

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

   Dandelion is found in nearly all Kuchler Plant Associations.

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES12  Longleaf - slash pine
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine
   FRES14  Oak - pine
   FRES15  Oak - hickory
   FRES16  Oak - gum - cypress
   FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch
   FRES19  Aspen - birch
   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES21  Ponderosa pine
   FRES22  Western white pine
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce
   FRES25  Larch
   FRES26  Lodgepole pine
   FRES27  Redwood
   FRES28  Western hardwoods
   FRES29  Sagebrush
   FRES30  Desert shrub
   FRES32  Texas savanna
   FRES33  Southwestern shrubsteppe
   FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub
   FRES35  Pinyon - juniper
   FRES36  Mountain grasslands
   FRES37  Mountain meadows
   FRES38  Plains grasslands
   FRES39  Prairie
   FRES40  Desert grasslands
   FRES41  Wet grasslands
   FRES42  Annual grasslands
   FRES44  Alpine

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Key Plant Community Associations

Common dandelion is an indicator species in ruderal vegetation types in North
Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington [51,137].
  • 51.  Hodorff, Robert A.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Linder, Raymond L. 1988.        Wildlife response to stand structure of deciduous woodlands. Journal of        Wildlife Management. 52(4): 667-673.  [6668]
  • 137.  Willard, E. Earl. 1990. Use and impact of domestic livestock in        whitebark pine forests. In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J.,        compilers. Proceedings-symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: ecology        and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman,        MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 201-207.  [11687]

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Found in a very wide variety of habitats, but tend to thrive best in disturbed sites such as lawns, paths, waste ground, pastures and road verges. Some microspecies are found in natural or semi-natural habitats, including fens, sand dunes and chalk grassland (3).
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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar or pollen of the flowers primarily attracts long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, and bee flies. Among the bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, honeybees, Mason bees, Halictid bees, and Andrenid bees. The foliage of Dandelion is eaten by many kinds of insects, including the caterpillars of several species of moths (see Moth Table). Most of these moths are polyphagous, as their caterpillars will feed on a variety of low-growing plants. In the Eastern states and the Midwest, only the Goldfinch and the English Sparrow eat the seeds to any significant extent. While the foliage is somewhat bitter, it is eaten occasionally by various mammalian herbivores, including livestock, rabbits, groundhogs, and deer.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Dandelion in Illinois

Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) introduced
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen; beetle activity is unspecified; other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Krombein et al., Fothergill & Vaughn, and MacRae, as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson; Robertson's observations occurred during the spring)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn cp fq (Rb); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens sn (Rb); Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada denticulata sn (Rb); Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia lignaria lignaria sn (Rb), Osmia pumila sn (Rb)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn cp (Rb), Halictus ligatus sn cp (Rb), Lasioglossum versatus sn fq (Rb); Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes inaequalis (Kr); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena arabis (Kr), Andrena barbilabris (Kr), Andrena ceanothi (Kr), Andrena cressonii sn (Rb), Andrena dunningi sn (Rb), Andrena erythrogaster (Kr), Andrena erythronii cp (Kr), Andrena forbesii (Kr), Andrena hippotes (Kr), Andrena illinoiensis (Kr), Andrena imitatrix imitatrix (Kr), Andrena melanochroa (Kr), Andrena miranda (Kr), Andrena miserabilis bipunctata sn fq (Rb, Kr), Andrena nigrifrons (Kr), Andrena perplexa (Kr), Andrena persimulata (Kr), Andrena rugosa (Kr), Andrena sigmundi (Kr), Andrena thaspii (Kr)

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalinus aeneus (Rb); Bombyliidae: Bombylius fascipennis (Rb), Bombylius major (Rb); Muscidae: Neomyia cornicina (Rb); Fanniidae: Fannia manicata (Rb)

Butterflies
Papilionidae: Papilio glaucus (FV), Papilio marcellus (FV), Papilio troilus (FV); Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus (FV), Vanessa cardui (FV), Vanessa virginiensis (Rb); Lycaenidae: Strymon melinus (FV); Pieridae: Anthocharis midea (FV), Colias eurytheme (FV), Nathalis iole (FV), Phoebis sennae (FV), Pontia protodice (FV)

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Erynnis horatius (FV), Erynnis juvenalis (FV), Hylephila phyleus (FV), Poanes zabulon (FV)

Beetles
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera neglecta (McR), Acmaeodera ornata (McR), Acmaeodera tubulus (McR)

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In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Aeolothrips tenuicornis feeds on live flower of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / spot causer
few, epiphyllous, scattered, blackish-brown pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta taraxaci causes spots on live leaf of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: season: 8

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Bremia lactucae parasitises live Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Other: unusual host/prey

Plant / resting place / within
puparium of Chromatomyia farfarella may be found in leaf-mine of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Ensina sonchi feeds within capitulum of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / spot causer
amphigenous colony of Ramularia hyphomycetous anamorph of Mycosphaerella hieracii causes spots on live leaf of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / visitor
adult of Myopa visits for nectar and/or pollen flower of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Paroxyna producta feeds within capitulum of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / miner
larva of Phytomyza wahlgreni mines leaf (mid-rib) of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
Podosphaera fusca parasitises live Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / gall
chlamydospore of Protomyces pachydermus causes gall of live peduncle of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Puccinia dioicae var. silvatica parasitises live Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Puccinia hieracii var. hieracii parasitises live Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Puccinia variabilis parasitises live leaf of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / gall
sorus of Synchytrium taraxaci causes gall of live phyllary of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / feeds on
male of Thrips hukkineni feeds on live flower of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: season: 5,7-9

Foodplant / feeds on
female of Thrips physapus feeds on live flower of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: season: 5,7-9

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Thrips tabaci feeds on live flower of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Thrips validus feeds on live flower of Taraxacum officinale agg. sensu lato
Remarks: season: 4-9

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Known predators

Taraxacum officinale (dandelion )forb/shrub)) is prey of:
Antilocapra americana
Lepus townsendii

Based on studies in:
USA: California, Cabrillo Point (Grassland)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • L. D. Harris and L. Paur, A quantitative food web analysis of a shortgrass community, Technical Report No. 154, Grassland Biome. U.S. International Biological Program (1972), from p. 17.
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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: cover, tree

Late spring burning in the tallgrass prairies of Kansas reduced
common dandelion cover compared with burning at earlier dates.  In shortgrass
prairies of western Kansas, common dandelion was less affected by dormant
season (fall and winter) burns than by spring burns [20].  Burning to
decrease cover of common dandelion on rangelands should be done in the spring
after growth initiation.  Annual burning in March or November in
Nebraska resulted in the highest total cover of common dandelion.  Burning in
April decreased cover [46].

Following logging, bulldozing, and slash burning, common dandelion will
establish in the open spots [14].

Common dandelion competes with tree seedlings on burned sites.  Grasses
aerially seeded on burns may compete with and displace common dandelion.  After
4 to 5 years of grass seeding on sites in Montana common dandelion populations
eventually decreased [14].
  • 14.  Bedunah, Don; Pfingsten, William; Kennett, Gregory; Willard, E. Earl.        1988. Relationship of stand canopy density to forage production. In:        Schmidt, Wyman C., compiler. Proceedings--future forests of the Mountain        West: a stand culture symposium; 1986 September 29 - October 3;        Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-243. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 99-107.        [5070]
  • 20.  Bragg, Thomas B. 1991. Implications for long-term prairie management        from seasonal burning of loess hill and tallgrass prairie. In: Nodvin,        Stephen C.; Waldrop, Thomas A., eds. Fire and the environment:        ecological and cultural perspectives: Proceedings of an international        symposium; 1990 March 20-24; Knoxville, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-69.        Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 34-44.  [16631]
  • 46.  Gibson, David J. 1989. Hulbert's study of factors effecting botanical        composition of tallgrass prairie. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck,        James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings,        11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE.        Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 115-133.  [14029]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, frequency, prescribed fire

Common dandelion generally establishes during the first or second postfire
year.  It usually increases in frequency after fire [22,36,41].  One
year after a spring burn (May 24, 1983) in Galena Gulch, Montana,
common dandelion showed a 50 percent increase in frequency, but by the second
year showed only a 47.5 percent increase over the prefire level [22].

Common dandelion increased in frequency following a fire in 1974 in a Scotch
pine forest in Scotland, but by postfire year 4, frequency started to
decrease.  Maximum frequency occurred at 3 years after fire [119].
Common dandelion frequency was greater in burned than in unburned oak
communities in Utah [74].  Following a prescribed fire in a Douglas-fir
stand in south-central Idaho, common dandelion frequency increased
significantly by postfire year 2.  Prefire frequency was 8 percent; at
postfire year 1 frequency was 4 percent; and at postfire year 2
frequency was 24 percent [78].

In the Hedges Mountain area of the Helena National Forest, Montana, a
sagebrush/rough fescue habitat type was burned in spring (May) and fall
(September).  Prefire and postfire community types, as named by the
dominant species, were compared.  Following the spring burn, bluegrass
and common dandelion were the dominant species during both postfire years 1 and
2.  Following the fall burn, the dominant species during postfire year 1
were bluegrass, mountain brome (Bromus marginatus), and common dandelion.  By
postfire year 2, common dandelion was no longer a dominant; the site was
dominated by bluegrass, Wood's rose, and common snowberry [109].

A fire on June 28, 1977 in Montana in a rough fescue community minimally
disrupted reproduction and carbohydrate production of common dandelion.  Its
frequency increased slightly on burned sites by the summer of 1978 [6].

In the timbered breaks along the Missouri River in central Montana,
common dandelion was favored by big game animals every postfire year except
year 28.  At postfire year 17 common dandelion was found at high frequencies.
First peak in frequency occurred at postfire year 4 [41].

On ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir communities in the Blue Mountains
of northeastern Oregon, common dandelion cover and frequency were higher
on unburned control sites than on prescribed burned, thinned, or
thinned-and-burned sites.  Common dandelion was determined to be an indicator
species for unburned sites (P≤0.05).  For further information on the effects
of thinning and burning treatments on common dandelion and 48 other species,
see the Research Project Summary of Youngblood and others' [141] study.
  • 6.  Antos, Joseph A.; McCune, Bruce; Bara, Cliff. 1983. The effect of fire        on an ungrazed western Montana grassland. American Midland Naturalist.        110(2): 354-364.  [337]
  • 22.  Bushey, Charles L. 1985. Summary of results from the Galena Gulch 1982        spring burns (Units 1b). Missoula, MT: Systems for Environmental        Management. 9 p.  [567]
  • 36.  Diboll, Neil. 1986. Mowing as an alternative to spring burning for        control of cool season exotic grasses in prairie grass plantings. In:        Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present        and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984        July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University        Center for Environmental Studies: 204-209.  [3574]
  • 41.  Eichhorn, Larry C.; Watts, C. Robert. 1984. Plant succession on burns in        the river breaks of central Montana. Proceedings, Montana Academy of        Science. 43: 21-34.  [15478]
  • 74.  Kunzler, L. M.; Harper, K. T.; Kunzler, D. B. 1981. Compositional        similarity within the oakbrush type in central and northern Utah. Great        Basin Naturalist. 41(1): 147-153.  [1390]
  • 78.  Lyon, L. Jack. 1966. Initial vegetal development following prescribed        burning of Douglas-fir in south-central Idaho. Res. Pap. INT-29. Ogden,        UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest        and Range Experiment Station. 17 p.  [1494]
  • 109.  Schwecke, Deitrich A.; Hann, Wendell. 1989. Fire behavior and vegetation        response to spring and fall burning on the Helena National Forest. In:        Baumgartner, David M.; Breuer, David W.; Zamora, Benjamin A.; [and        others]
  • 119.  Sykes, J. M.; Horrill, A. D. 1981. Recovery of vegetation in a        Caledonian pinewood after fire. Transactions of the Botanical Society of        Edinburgh. 43(4): 317-325.  [19768]
  • 141.  Youngblood, Andrew; Metlen, Kerry L.; Coe, Kent. 2006. Changes in        stand structure and composition after restoration treatments in low elevation dry        forests of northeastern Oregon. Forest Ecology and Management. 234(1-3): 143-163.  [64992]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Fire likely top-kills common dandelion.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: caudex, ground residual colonizer

   Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
   Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)
   Caudex, growing points in soil

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Fire Ecology

Common dandelion is a component of diverse ecosystems in boreal and temperate
regions with variable FIRE REGIMES.  Common dandelion is primarily adapted to
fire through its prolific production of wind-dispersed seed [123].  Site
colonization after fires occurs in many forested areas because of
common dandelion's persistent, viable seed bank [1].
 
  • 1.  Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1979. Buried seed in the forest floor of the        Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Minnesota Forestry Research Note No. 271.        St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, College of Forestry. 4 p.  [3459]
  • 123.  Toth, Barbara L. 1991. Factors affecting conifer regeneration and        community structure after a wildfire in western Montana. Corvallis, OR:        Oregon State University. 124 p. Thesis.  [14425]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, competition, marsh, tree

Common dandelion is an important colonizer following vegetation disturbances in
temperate climates throughout North America [85,99].  Although the role
of common dandelion as an early seral species does not change, the length of
time common dandelion populations are present varies among ecosystems.
Common dandelion enters a disturbed community and rapidly becomes abundant.  It
may achieve a peak in dominance within 2 to 3 years [7,14].  Holland
found common dandelion to be a transitory colonist of marsh habitats in
Massachusetts; it was found for 10 years after the disturbance and then
disappeared [53].

Common dandelion was one of the earliest colonizers after tree harvesting in a
maple-beech-birch ecosystem in Michigan [32].  On an abandoned farmland
in Arizona, common dandelion was one of the predominant species following
winter precipitation [30].  Common dandelion was a pioneer species on a
brine-killed forest site after elimination of brine discharge on the
site in the spring of 1982 [7].  On a Douglas-fir clearcut in Colorado,
common dandelion was a dominant species in the understory the second year after
cutting but was not present in the initial community [7].  Common dandelion is
not a member of the climax plant community on rangelands since it cannot
withstand competition for moisture, nutrients, and light with the climax
vegetation.  It invades these areas after the preferred species have
been removed by overgrazing [85].
  • 7.  Auchmoody, L. R.; Walters, R. S. 1988. Revegetation of a brine-killed        forest site. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 52: 277-280.        [11374]
  • 14.  Bedunah, Don; Pfingsten, William; Kennett, Gregory; Willard, E. Earl.        1988. Relationship of stand canopy density to forage production. In:        Schmidt, Wyman C., compiler. Proceedings--future forests of the Mountain        West: a stand culture symposium; 1986 September 29 - October 3;        Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-243. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 99-107.        [5070]
  • 30.  Cox, J. R.; Madrigal, R. M. 1988. Establishing perennial grasses on        abandoned farmland in southeastern Arizona. Applied Agricultural        Research. 3(1): 36-43.  [11177]
  • 32.  Crow, T. R.; Mroz, G. D.; Gale, M. R. 1991. Regrowth and nutrient        accumulations following whole-tree harvesting of a maple-oak forest.        Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 1305-1315.  [16600]
  • 53.  Holland, Marjorie M.; Burk, C. John. 1990. The marsh vegetation of three        Connecticut River oxbows: a ten-year comparison. Rhodora. 92(871):        166-204.  [14521]
  • 85.  McLean, Alastair; Marchand, Leonard. 1968. Grassland ranges in the        southern interior of British Columbia. Publication 1319. Ottawa, Canada:        Canada Department of Agriculture, Division. 18 p.  [1622]
  • 99.  Pratt, David W.; Black, R. Alan; Zamora, B. A. 1984. Buried viable seed        in a ponderosa pine community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 62: 44-52.        [16219]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: caudex, density, litter, pappus

Common dandelion reproduces apomictically through parthenogenesis [62].  Plants
develop from unfertilized gametes.  Common dandelion is an aggressive seed
producer and reproduces mainly from seed [42].  Seeds travel a
considerable distance because of the parachuting effect produced by the
spreading pappus.  In a tallgrass prairie in Iowa, achenes of common dandelion
were blown by the wind several hundred meters from the nearest source
population [98].

Common dandelion creates a long-lived seedbank [11,99].  In a seedbank of a
ponderosa pine community in Washington, viable common dandelion seedlings
emerged from litter and soil samples in greenhouse germination trials.
Seed density of spring samples was 160 seeds per square yard (133
seeds/m sq) and of autumn samples was 60 seeds per square yard (50
seeds/m sq) [99].  Seeds of common dandelion were viable up to 5 years in soil
samples from Montana [11].  Seed germination on a control plot in
Wisconsin was inhibited by thick mulch.  Light mulch that remained on a
mowed plot also reduced germination [36].  Germination was highest on a
burned plot [36].

Vegetative:  Common dandelion sprouts from the caudex after disturbance
[114,126].
  • 11.  Bard, Gily E. 1952. Secondary succession on the Piedmont of New Jersey.        Ecological Monographs. 22(3): 195-215.  [4777]
  • 36.  Diboll, Neil. 1986. Mowing as an alternative to spring burning for        control of cool season exotic grasses in prairie grass plantings. In:        Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present        and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984        July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University        Center for Environmental Studies: 204-209.  [3574]
  • 42.  Ellison, L.; Aldous, C. M. 1952. Influence of pocket gophers on        vegetation of subalpine grassland in central Utah. Ecology. 33(2):        177-186.  [3427]
  • 62.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563]
  • 98.  Platt, William J. 1975. The colonization and formation of equilibrium        plant species associations on badger disturbances in a tall-grass        prairie. Ecological Monographs. 45: 285-305.  [6903]
  • 99.  Pratt, David W.; Black, R. Alan; Zamora, B. A. 1984. Buried viable seed        in a ponderosa pine community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 62: 44-52.        [16219]
  • 114.  Staniforth, Richard J.; Scott, Peter A. 1991. Dynamics of weed        populations in a northern subarctic community. Canadian Journal of        Botany. 69: 814-821.  [14944]
  • 126.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1971.        Common weeds of the United States. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.        463 p.  [2378]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: hemicryptophyte

  
   Hemicryptophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: forb

Forb

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Common dandelion is one of the earliest spring bloomers on western rangelands
[134].  It flowers from March to late fall in most states and will
flower throughout the year in warmer areas [126].  General first
flowering dates are from April 28 to May 19, and sometimes earlier in
some locations [116].  By mid-June, common dandelion has reached its maximum
bloom stage, and the seeds from earlier flowering dates are mostly
disseminated.  By mid-July, all seeds are disseminated [40].

Reported dates for anthesis in some states are as follows [16,37,100]:

Utah                             April-July
Colorado                         April-August
Wyoming                          May-August
Montana                          April-September
North Dakota                     April-June
Virginia                         February-June
Georgia                          February-June
Mississippi                      February-June
Tennessee                        February-June
Kentucky                         February-June
Iowa                             April-June
Alberta                          June-July
  • 16.  Bergen, Peter; Moyer, James R.; Kozub, Gerald C. 1990. Dandelion        (Taraxacum officinale) use by cattle grazing on irrigated pasture. Weed        Technology. 4(2): 258-263.  [14775]
  • 37.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 40.  Eckert, R. E. 1975. Improvement of mountain meadows in Nevada. Research        Report. Reno, NV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land        Managment. 45 p.  [8124]
  • 100.  Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of        the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of        North Carolina Press. 1183 p.  [7606]
  • 116.  Stevens, O. A. 1956. Flowering dates of weeds in North Dakota. North        Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Bimonthly Bulletin. 18(6):        209-213.  [5168]
  • 126.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 1971.        Common weeds of the United States. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.        463 p.  [2378]
  • 134.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Taraxacum officinale

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Taraxacum officinale

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 23
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Extremely common and widespread (3).
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Threats

This species is not threatened.
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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: cover, forbs

Common dandelion is an invader species that commonly inhabits overgrazed
rangelands [85].  Common dandelion availability for deer decreases on
cattle-grazed sites [7].

Common dandelion meets the nutritional requirements of beef cattle and is
readily grazed by them [16].  Producers may want to control common dandelion in
irrigated pastures to restrict seed movement to adjacent land where
common dandelion may be undesirable [16].

Common dandelion is a threat in upper forest and alpine zones of western
Montana because of its ability to invade little disturbed or undisturbed
native vegetation through seed dispersal [133].  In Montana, common dandelion
seedlings compete with conifer seedlings on forest sites.  Grass seeding
on these sites will eventually decrease the common dandelion population in 4 to
5 years [14].

Clearcuts and thinning of forests stimulates common dandelion production.  Sage
grouse and deer populations benefit from increased production of
common dandelion [10].  Sage grouse habitat loss due to development and
postdevelopment land use can be minimized by regulation of livestock on
important adjacent nondeveloped lands [10].

Common dandelion can be readily controlled with 2,4-D.  It is most effective to
spray in early spring before first bloom.  Sites should not be mown for
3 to 5 days before spraying or 1 to 2 days after [92].

Strip spraying in Idaho in relatively high annual precipitation (13
inches [33 cm]) areas benefits sage grouse brood-rearing habitat due to
quick recovery of common dandelion and other forbs.  Average cover of common dandelion
in sprayed areas was 17.2 percent, whereas average cover in nonsprayed
areas was 11.2 percent [23].

A decrease in the population of common dandelion occurs where pocket gophers
are present.  When gophers were removed, common dandelion population increased
by 50 percent in 2 years on mountain grasslands and meadows of Colorado,
Utah, and Oregon [42].
  • 7.  Auchmoody, L. R.; Walters, R. S. 1988. Revegetation of a brine-killed        forest site. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 52: 277-280.        [11374]
  • 10.  Autenrieth, Robert; Molini, William; Braun, Clait, eds. 1982. Sage        grouse management practices. Tech. Bull No. 1. Twin Falls, ID: Western        States Sage Grouse Committee. 42 p.  [7531]
  • 14.  Bedunah, Don; Pfingsten, William; Kennett, Gregory; Willard, E. Earl.        1988. Relationship of stand canopy density to forage production. In:        Schmidt, Wyman C., compiler. Proceedings--future forests of the Mountain        West: a stand culture symposium; 1986 September 29 - October 3;        Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-243. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 99-107.        [5070]
  • 16.  Bergen, Peter; Moyer, James R.; Kozub, Gerald C. 1990. Dandelion        (Taraxacum officinale) use by cattle grazing on irrigated pasture. Weed        Technology. 4(2): 258-263.  [14775]
  • 23.  Call, Mayo W. 1979. Habitat requirements and management recommendations        for sage grouse. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of        Land Management, Denver Service Center. 37 p.  [591]
  • 42.  Ellison, L.; Aldous, C. M. 1952. Influence of pocket gophers on        vegetation of subalpine grassland in central Utah. Ecology. 33(2):        177-186.  [3427]
  • 85.  McLean, Alastair; Marchand, Leonard. 1968. Grassland ranges in the        southern interior of British Columbia. Publication 1319. Ottawa, Canada:        Canada Department of Agriculture, Division. 18 p.  [1622]
  • 92.  Pacific Northwest Extension Service. 1983. Common and false dandelion.        PNW 117. Corvallis, OR: Pullman, WA; Moscow, ID. 2 p.  [6612]
  • 133.  Weaver, T.; Lichthart, J.; Gustafson, D. 1990. Exotic invasion of        timberline vegetation, Northern Rocky Moutnains, USA. In: Schmidt, Wyman        C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on whitebark        pine ecosystems: ecology and management of a high-mountain resource;        1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station: 208-213.  [11688]

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Conservation

Not relevant.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sunlight, mesic conditions, and a soil that consists of loam or clay-loam. Partial sunlight is also tolerated. This plant can be very aggressive, and can regenerate from small pieces of the taproot. Range & Habitat
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Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Nutritional Value

Protein content of dandelion exceeds the minimum requirement needed for
body maintenance for deer in ponderosa pine communities [94].  Common dandelion
meets the nutritional requirements of beef cattle in Alberta [16].
Protein and manganese content increase from early June to early July,
when it is harvested on ranges in Alberta.  By late September, protein
content decreases significantly [16].

Chemical composition (in percent) of common dandelion from an irrigated pasture
during 1986 was as follows [16]:

                       June 3       July 7       September 24       Average

Acid detergent fiber   28.1         22.4         25.8               25.4
Crude protein          13.8         22.8         14.7               17.1
Ca                     1.21         1.55         1.61               1.46
P                      0.30         0.48         0.29               0.36
Mg                     0.31         0.47         0.50               0.43
K                      2.58         2.24         2.46               2.43
  • 16.  Bergen, Peter; Moyer, James R.; Kozub, Gerald C. 1990. Dandelion        (Taraxacum officinale) use by cattle grazing on irrigated pasture. Weed        Technology. 4(2): 258-263.  [14775]
  • 94.  Patton, David R. 1988. Selection of silvicultural systems for wildlife.        In: Baumgartner, David M.; Lotan, James E., compilers. Ponderosa pine:        The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1987 September 29        - October 1; Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University,        Cooperative Extension: 179-184.  [9416]

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Palatability

Common dandelion is more palatable to wildlife and livestock in prebloom stages
than in postbloom stages [81].  It is poor to fair in palatability on
ponderosa pine sites throughout the West [85].

Palatability ratings for common dandelion from selected western states are as
follows [37]:

                              UT     CO     WY     MT     ND
Cattle                       good   good   fair   fair   good
Sheep                        good   good   good   good   good
Horses                       good   good   fair   good   good
Elk                          good   ----   good   good   ----
Mule deer                    good   ----   good   fair   fair
White-tailed deer            ----   ----   good   fair   fair
Pronghorn                    good   ----   good   good   fair
Upland game birds            good   ----   good   good   good
Waterfowl                    fair   ----   poor   ----   good
Small nongame birds          fair   ----   fair   fair   fair
Small mammals                good   ----   fair   fair   fair
  • 37.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 81.  Anderson, Howard G.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1980. Effects of annual burning        on grassland in the aspen parkland of east-central Alberta. Canadian        Journal of Botany. 58: 985-996.  [3499]
  • 85.  McLean, Alastair; Marchand, Leonard. 1968. Grassland ranges in the        southern interior of British Columbia. Publication 1319. Ottawa, Canada:        Canada Department of Agriculture, Division. 18 p.  [1622]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the terms: forb, forbs

Common dandelion is a preferred food of domestic sheep grazing on mountain
meadows [83] and is readily eaten by cattle on rough fescue (Festuca
scabrella) prairies in Alberta [38].  Common dandelion is commonly eaten in the
spring by sharp-tailed grouse [89].  It is a minor component of bighorn
sheep diets in the Upper Yellowstone Valley [63] and is an important
food for pocket gophers on mountain grasslands of Colorado [132].
Common dandelion is an important source of nectar and pollen for bees in Alaska
[96].  Common dandelion is consumed by deer and elk in the spring, summer, and
fall in meadows of the Rocky Mountains [73].

In Yellowstone National Park, common dandelion is an important food for grizzly
bears in summer.  Peak use in in June [82].  Leaves, stems, seeds, and
flowers were found in grizzly and black bear scats in Glacier National
Park [65].

In Alberta, black bears browse on earlier phenological stages of
common dandelion (spring and early summer) because of the higher nutrient
quality.  Common dandelion is one of the dominant species found in spring bear
scats [52].

During prenesting through incubation of greater prairie chicken broods
(April-May) on the Sheyenne National Grasslands in North Dakota,
common dandelion flowers were one of the primary diet items.  Individual fecal
samples contained up to 96 percent common dandelion flowers during April and
May [106].

Common dandelion is one of the favored foods of sage grouse in the spring,
summer, and fall in Nevada.  Of all meadow forbs consumed, common dandelion
contributed 82 percent to spring forb diets [40,67]. 

In British Columbia, deer consumed common dandelion at significantly higher
(P less than 0.05) rates on harvested lodgepole pine sites than on unharvested
sites [28].
   
  • 38.  Dormaar, Johan F.; Willms, Walter D. 1990. Sustainable production from        the rough fescue prairie. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 45(1):        137-140.  [11389]
  • 40.  Eckert, R. E. 1975. Improvement of mountain meadows in Nevada. Research        Report. Reno, NV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land        Managment. 45 p.  [8124]
  • 52.  Holcroft, Anne C.; Herrero, Stephen. 1991. Black bear, Ursus americanus,        food habits in southwestern Alberta. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 105(3):        335-345.  [18673]
  • 63.  Keating, Kimberly A.; Irby, Lynn R.; Kasworm, Wayne F. 1985. Mountain        sheep winter food habits in the upper Yellowstone Valley. Journal of        Wildlife Management. 49(1): 156-161.  [15521]
  • 65.  Kendall, Katherine C. 1986. Grizzly and black bear feeding ecology in        Glacier National Park, Montana. Progress Report. West Glacier, Montana:        U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Glacier National        Park Biosphere Preserve, Science Center. 42 p.  [19361]
  • 67.  Klebenow, Donald A. 1984. Habitat management for sage grouse in Nevada.        World Pheasant Association Journal. 10: 34-46.  [1346]
  • 73.  Kufeld, Roland C. 1973. Foods eaten by the Rocky Mountain elk. Journal        of Range Management. 26(2): 106-113.  [1385]
  • 82.  Mattson, David J.; Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Knight, Richard R. 1991. Food        habits of Yellowstone grizzly bears, 1977-1987. Canadian Journal of        Zoology. 69(6): 1619-1629.  [19515]
  • 83.  McInnis, Michael L.; Vavra, Martin. 1986. Summer diets of domestic sheep        grazing mountain meadows in northeastern Oregon. Northwest Science.        60(4): 265-2170.  [1604]
  • 89.  Nemick, Joseph J. 1987. Sharp-tailed grouse management and ecology in        Wyoming. In: Fisser, Herbert G., ed. Wyoming shrublands: Proceedings,        16th Wyoming shrub ecology workshop; 1987 May 26-27; Sundance, WY.        Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, Department of Range Management,        Wyoming Shrub Ecology Workshop: 45-47.  [13920]
  • 96.  Petersen, Stephen F. 1989. Beekeeping under northern lights. American        Bee Journal. 129(1): 33-35.  [12332]
  • 106.  Rumble, Mark A.; Newell, Jay A.; Toepfer, John E. 1988. Diets of greater        prairie chickens on the Sheyenne National Grasslands. In: Bjugstad,        Ardell J., technical coordinator. Prairie chickens on the Sheyenne        National Grasslands [symposium proceedings]
  • 132.  Ward, A. Lorin; Keith, James O. 1962. Feeding habits of pocket gophers        on mountain grasslands, Black Mesa, Colorado. Ecology. 43(4): 744-749;        1962.  [2453]
  • 28.  Collins, William B.; Urness, Philip J. 1983. Feeding behavior and        habitat selection of mule deer and elk on northern Utah summer range.        Journal of Wildlife Management. 47(3): 646-663.  [6915]

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Other uses and values

The Gwich'in Athabaskan Indians of Fort Yukon, Alaska frequently eat the
leaves of common dandelion in salads or boil and eat them [54].  Roots of
common dandelion can be ground and used as a mild laxative or to treat
heartburn.  Tea and wine can be made from flowers [140].
  • 54.  Holloway, Patricia S.; Alexander, Ginny. 1990. Ethnobotany of the Fort        Yukon region, Alaska. Economic Botany. 44(2): 214-225.  [13625]
  • 140.  Stubbendieck, J.; Hatch, Stephan L.; Hirsch, Kathie J. 1986. North        American range plants. 3rd ed. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska        Press. 465 p.  [2270]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Common dandelion has low short-term and long-term revegetation potential on
disturbed sites.  Erosion-control potential is low [37].
  • 37.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]

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Wikipedia

Taraxacum officinale

Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called "dandelion"), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae). It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind called "blowballs"[3] or "clocks" (in both British and American English).[4][5][6][7]

Description[edit]

Head in full bloom

Taraxacum officinale grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5 to 40 cm tall, but sometimes up to 70 cm tall. The stems can be tinted purplish, they are upright or lax, and produce flower heads that are held as tall or taller than the foliage. The foliage may be upright-growing or horizontally spreading; the leaves have petioles that are either unwinged or narrowly winged. The stems can be glabrous or sparsely covered with short hairs. Plants have milky latex and the leaves are all basal; each flowering stem lacks bracts and has one single flower head. The yellow flower heads lack receptacle bracts and all the flowers, which are called florets, are ligulate and bisexual. The fruits are mostly produced by apomixis.[8]

The leaves are 5 to 45 cm long and 1 to 10 cm wide, and are oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape, with the bases gradually narrowing to the petiole. The leaf margins are typically shallowly lobed to deeply lobed and often lacerate or toothed with sharp or dull teeth.[8]

The calyculi (the cuplike bracts that hold the florets) are composed of 12 to 18 segments: each segment is reflexed and sometimes glaucous. The lanceolate shaped bractlets are in two series, with the apices acuminate in shape. The 14- to 25-mm wide involucres are green to dark green or brownish-green, with the tips dark gray or purplish. The florets number 40 to over 100 per head, having corollas that are yellow or orange-yellow in color.

The fruits, called cypselae, range in color from olive-green or olive-brown to straw-colored to grayish, they are oblanceoloid in shape and 2 to 3 mm long with slender beaks. The fruits have 4 to 12 ribs that have sharp edges. The silky pappi, which form the parachutes, are white to silver-white in color and around 6 mm wide. Plants typically have 24 or 40 pairs of chromosomes but some plants have 16 or 32 chromosomes.[9]

Taxonomy[edit]

Ripe fruits

The taxonomy of the genus Taraxacum is complicated by apomictic and polyploid lineages,[10][11] and the taxonomy and nomenclatural situation of Taraxacum officinale is not yet fully resolved,[9] The taxonomy of this species has in the past been complicated by the recognition of numerous species,[12] subspecies and microspecies. E.g. Rothmaler's flora of Germany recognizes roughly 70 microspecies.[13] The plants introduced to North America are triploids that reproduce by obligate gametophytic apomixis[9][14] Some authorities recognize three subspecies of Taraxacum officinale including:[15][16]

  • Taraxacum officinale ssp. ceratophorum (Ledeb.) Schinz ex Thellung which is commonly called common dandelion, fleshy dandelion, horned dandelion or rough dandelion. It is native to Canada and the western US.[17] Some sources list it as a species, Taraxacum ceratophorum.[18][19]
  • Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale, which is commonly called common dandelion or wandering dandelion.
  • Taraxacum officinale ssp. vulgare (Lam.) Schinz & R. Keller, which is commonly called common dandelion.

Two of them have been introduced and established in Alaska and the third (ssp. ceratophorum ) is native there.[20]

Taraxacum officinale has many English common names (of which some are no longer in use), including blowball, lion's-tooth, cankerwort, milk-witch, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest's-crown and puff-ball;[21] other common names include, faceclock, pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed,[22] swine's snout, [23] white endive, and wild endive.[24]

Carl Linnaeus named the species Leontodon Taraxacum in 1753. The genus name Taraxacum, might be from the Arabic word "Tharakhchakon",[8] or from the Greek word "Tarraxos".[25] The common name "dandelion," comes from the French phrase "dent de lion" which means "lion's tooth", in reference to the jagged shaped foliage.[25]

Ecology[edit]

A field of dandelions in Mazovia, Poland

Taraxacum officinale is native to Eurasia,[26] and now is naturalized throughout North America, southern Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and India. It occurs in all 50 states of the USA and most Canadian provinces.[20] It is considered a noxious weed in some jurisdictions,[27] and is considered to be a nuisance in residential and recreational lawns in North America.[28] It is also an important weed in agriculture and causes significant economic damage because of its infestation in many crops worldwide.[27]

The dandelion is a common colonizer of disturbed habitats, both from wind blown seeds and seed germination from the seed bank.[29] The seeds remain viable in the seed bank for many years, with one study showing germination after nine years. This species is a somewhat prolific seed producer, with 54 to 172 seeds produced per head, and a single plant can produce more than 5,000 seeds a year. It is estimated that more than 97,000,000 seeds/hectare could be produced yearly by a dense stand of dandelions.[citation needed] When released, the seeds can be spread by the wind up to several hundred meters from their source. The seeds are also a common contaminant in crop and forage seeds. The plants are adaptable to most soils and the seeds are not dependent on cold temperatures before they will germinate but they need to be within the top 2.5 centimeters of soil.[20]

While not in bloom, this species is sometimes confused with others, such as Chondrilla juncea, that have similar basal rosettes of foliage.[citation needed] Another plant, sometimes referred to as Fall Dandelion, is very similar to dandelion, but produces "yellow fields" later.

Uses[edit]

Dandelion greens, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy188 kJ (45 kcal)
9.2 g
Sugars0.71 g
Dietary fiber3.5 g
0.7 g
2.7 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv.
(64%)
508 μg
(54%)
5854 μg
13610 μg
Thiamine (B1)
(17%)
0.19 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(22%)
0.26 mg
Niacin (B3)
(5%)
0.806 mg
(2%)
0.084 mg
Vitamin B6
(19%)
0.251 mg
Folate (B9)
(7%)
27 μg
Choline
(7%)
35.3 mg
Vitamin C
(42%)
35 mg
Vitamin E
(23%)
3.44 mg
Vitamin K
(741%)
778.4 μg
Trace metals
Calcium
(19%)
187 mg
Iron
(24%)
3.1 mg
Magnesium
(10%)
36 mg
Manganese
(16%)
0.342 mg
Phosphorus
(9%)
66 mg
Potassium
(8%)
397 mg
Sodium
(5%)
76 mg
Zinc
(4%)
0.41 mg
Other constituents
Water85.6 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

While the dandelion is considered a weed by many gardeners and lawn owners, the plant has several culinary and medicinal uses. The specific name officinalis refers to its value as a medicinal herb, and is derived from the word opificina, later officina, meaning a workshop or pharmacy.[30] The flowers are used to make dandelion wine,[31] the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute (when baked and ground into powder) and the plant was used by Native Americans as a food and medicine.[32]

Culinary[edit]

A plate of sauteed dandelion greens, with Wehani rice

Dandelions are wildcrafted or grown on a small scale as a leaf vegetable. The leaves (called dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion salad is often accompanied with hard boiled eggs. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach.[33]

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes.[34] Most of these are more accurately described as "dandelion-flavored wine," as some other sort of fermented juice or extract serves as the main ingredient.[35] It has also been used in a saison ale called Pissenlit (literally "wet the bed" in French) made by Brasserie Fantôme in Belgium. Dandelion and burdock is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom.

Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam. In Silesia and also other parts of Poland and world, dandelion flowers are used to make a honey substitute syrup with added lemon (so-called May-honey). This "honey" is believed to have a medicinal value, in particular against liver problems. Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute. [36]

Herbal medicine[edit]

Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds.[37] Dandelion is used as a herbal remedy in Europe, North America and China.[37] "Empiric traditional application in humans of dandelion, in particular to treat digestive disorders, is supported by pharmacological investigations. … Some results, e.g. concerning possible diuretic activity, are even contradictory and require a through reinvestigation."[37]

It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems,[37] and as a diuretic.[37] Dandelion root is a registered drug in Canada, sold principally as a diuretic.[citation needed] A hepatoprotective effect in mice of chemicals extracted from dandelion root has been reported.[38] Dandelion is used in herbal medicine as a mild laxative, for increasing appetite, and for improving digestion.[39] The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent[40] and as a folk remedy to treat warts.[41]

Other[edit]

Yellow or green dye colours can be obtained from the flowers but little colour can be obtained from the roots of the plant.[42]

T. officinale is food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), such as the tortrix moth Celypha rufana. See also List of Lepidoptera that feed on dandelions.

Toxicity[edit]

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has been linked to outbreaks of stringhalt in horses.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tropicos
  2. ^ The Plant List
  3. ^ McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "dandelion clock - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online". Ldoceonline.com. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ a b c Morley, T. I. (1969). "Spring Flora of Minnesota". 1974 reprint with minor corrections (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis MN): 255. 
  9. ^ a b c "Taraxacum officinale in Flora of North America @". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  10. ^ Wittzell, Hakan (1999). "Chloroplast DNA variation and reticulate evolution in sexual and apomictic sections of dandelions". Molecular Ecology 8 (12): 2023. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294x.1999.00807.x. PMID 10632854. 
  11. ^ Dijk, Peter J. van (2003). "Ecological and evolutionary opportunities of apomixis: insights from Taraxacum and Chondrilla". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 358 (1434): 1113. doi:10.1098/rstb.2003.1302. PMC 1693208. PMID 12831477. 
  12. ^ Thomas Gaskell Tutin (1976). Flora Europaea: Plantaginaceae to Compositae (and Rubiaceae). Cambridge University Press. pp. 332–. ISBN 978-0-521-08717-9. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Rothmaler, Werner (1966). Exkursionsflora: Kritischer Ergänzungsband Gefäßpflanzen. p. 347. 
  14. ^ Lyman JC, Ellstrand NC (1984). "Clonal diversity in Taraxacum officinale (Compositae), an apomict". Heredity 53 (1): 1–10. doi:10.1038/hdy.1984.58. 
  15. ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Taraxacum officinale". Itis.gov. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  16. ^ Robert F. Barnes; C. Jerry Nelson; Kenneth J. Moore; Michael Collins (19 January 2007). Forages: The science of grassland agriculture. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-0-8138-0232-9. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "PLANTS Profile for Taraxacum officinale ssp. ceratophorum (common dandelion) | USDA PLANTS". Plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  18. ^ "Taraxacum ceratophorum". Calflora. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  19. ^ "Taraxacum ceratophorum in Flora of North America @". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  20. ^ a b c "What is AKEPIC? | Alaska Natural Heritage Program". Akweeds.uaa.alaska.edu. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  21. ^ Britton, N. F.; Brown, Addison (1970). An illustrated flora of the northern United States and Canada: from Newfoundland to the parallel of the southern boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the 102d meridian. New York: Dover Publications. p. 315. ISBN 0-486-22644-1. 
  22. ^ http://www.nps.gov/akso/NatRes/EPMT/Species_bios/Taraxacum%20officinale.pdf
  23. ^ Loewer, Peter (2001). Solving weed problems. Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. p. 210. ISBN 1-58574-274-0. 
  24. ^ Jonas: Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier.
  25. ^ a b Kowalchik, Claire; Hylton, William H.; Carr, Anna (1987). Rodale's illustrated encyclopedia of herbs. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press. p. 141. ISBN 0-87857-699-1. 
  26. ^ Vít Bojňanský; Agáta Fargašová (2007). Atlas of Seeds and Fruits of Central and East-European Flora: The Carpathian Mountains Region. シュプリンガー・ジャパン株式会社. pp. 751–. ISBN 978-1-4020-5361-0. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  27. ^ a b Stewart-Wade, S.M.; S. Newmann, L.L.Collins, G.J. Boland (2002). "The biology of Canadian weeds. 117. Taraxacum officinale G.H. Weber ex Wiggers". Canadian Journal of Plant Science 82: 825–853. doi:10.4141/P01-010. 
  28. ^ Richardson, Jonathan (1985). "In praise of the archenemy". Audubon 87: 37–39. 
  29. ^ "Taraxacum officinale". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  30. ^ Stearn, W.T. 1992. Botanical Latin: History, grammar, syntax, terminology and vocabulary, Fourth edition. David and Charles.
  31. ^ "Recipes - Dandelion Wine". Cooks.com. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  32. ^ Clarke, Charlotte Bringle (1977). Edible and useful plants of California. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 191. ISBN 0-520-03261-6. 
  33. ^ "Common Dandelion". Wildmanstevebrill.com. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  34. ^ "winemaking: Dandelion Wines". Winemaking.jackkeller.net. 2004-05-22. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  35. ^ Gibbons, E. Stalking the Wild Asparagus. David McKay, New York. 1962.
  36. ^ Wera Sztabowa, "Krupnioki i moczka, czyli gawędy o śląskiej kuchni", Wydawnictwo Śląsk, Katowice, 1990, ISBN 83-216-0935-X.
  37. ^ a b c d e Katrin Schütz, Reinhold Carle & Andreas Schieber (2006). "Taraxacum—a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 107 (3): 313–323. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.021. PMID 16950583. 
  38. ^ Mahesh, A.; Jeyachandran, R.; Cindrella, L.; Thangadurai, D.; Veerapur, V. P.; Muralidhara Rao, D. (2010). "Hepatocurative potential of sesquiterpene lactones of Taraxacum officinale on carbon tetrachloride induced liver toxicity in mice". Acta Biologica Hungarica 61 (2): 175–190. doi:10.1556/abiol.61.2010.2.6. 
  39. ^ Stuart, Malcolm (1979). The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism (1st Grosset & Dunlap ed. ed.). New York: Grosset & Dunlap. p. 271. ISBN 0-448-15472-2. 
  40. ^ Plantwatch - Plants[dead link]
  41. ^ "Dandelion - The Natural History Museum - Country Cures". Nhm.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  42. ^ A. Dyer (1976) Dyes from natural sources. G. Bell & Sons Ltd., London
  43. ^ John Kohnke. "Australian stringhalt". South East Victoria Equine Network. 

Further reading[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Taraxacum officinale is the most widespread dandelion in temperate North America, though its abundance decreases in the arid south. It is a familiar weed of lawns and roadsides. It is also the species most commonly used for medicinal and culinary purposes (e.g., E. Small and P. M. Catling 1999).

Phenotypic and genotypic variation of this species have been studied in North America (L. M. King 1993; King and B. A. Schaal 1990; J. C. Lyman and N. C. Ellstrand 1998; O. T. Solbrig 1971; R. J. Taylor 1987), but results of those studies did not lead to the recognition of microspecies.

Specimens of Taraxacum officinale with deeply lobed leaves are sometimes difficult to distinguish from those of T. erythrospermum when fruits are missing (see also R. J. Taylor 1987). Usually, however, early leaves of the former are much less deeply lobed than those of the latter, which are more consistently lacerate throughout development, though broadly winged initially. The two taxa are easily distinguished in fruit, the red cypselae of T. erythrospermum standing out from the dull olive ones of T. officinale.

In northeastern North America, Taraxacum officinale and T. lapponicum often are confused, which has led to reports of the common dandelion farther north than I have been able to verify (it has yet to be collected from the Nunavik region of Quebec, for instance). The characters in the key above help separate the two taxa.

The typification by A. J. Richards (1985) would leave the common dandelion of both Europe and North America without a valid name (J. Kirschner and J. Štepánek 1987). For the time being, with the nomenclatural situation still not resolved, I am following traditional usage of the name Taraxacum officinale.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Taraxacum officinale is the generally accepted scientific name for the common dandelion, with variation among taxonomists as to extent of inclusiveness of this species. As treated by Kartesz (1994 checklist and 1999 floristic synthesis), includes both Eurasian plants widely established in North America (ssp. officinale) and native North American plants (ssp. ceratophorum). The native plants included here by Kartesz have been variously considered distinct species by many authors, including Taraxacum integratum, T. lacerum, T. laurentianum, and T. maurolepium. The Eurasian subspecies (ssp. officinale), as treated by Kartesz, includes plants sometimes considered a distinct species, T. palustre, as well as plants sometimes treated as another subspecies, T. officinale ssp. vulgare. LEM 17Jan00. Weber (Taxon 47: 495, 1998) notes that customary usage of the name Taraxacum officinale is for an aggregate of apomicts, with the name Taraxacum campylodes used for the particular segregate apomict which includes the type of T. officinale; nomenclatural formalization of this practice is requested. LEM 3Jun98.

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Common Names

common dandelion
dandelion

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The currently accepted scientific name for common dandelion is Taraxacum
officinale Weber [134]. There are no recognized subspecies,
varieties, or forms.
  • 134.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

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