This species is very similar and often overlooked as the traditional dandelion, Taraxacum officinale. It most readily differs by its reddish-brown seed bases, unlike the more olive colored seeds of officinale. T. erythrospermum can also be diagnosed by its leaves, which have consistently triangular lobes throughout. In comparison officinale tends to have erratic lobing with minimal or no triangular form. The leaves of erythrospermum thus bear a closer resemblance to the basal leaves of sow thistles (Sonchus oleraceus).
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The name Taraxacum laevigatum has been used for L. erythrospermum in North America, following H. Handel-Mazzetti (1907). L. H. Shinners (1949) questioned that usage. The name is listed in the index of Flora Europaea (A. J. Richards and P. D. Sell 1973) as an unassigned synonym; it could be related to three different entities of sect. Spectabilia. And, it is not mentioned by other modern students of the group. Therefore, (1) given that the North American entity has not been identified with a particular Eurasian taxon; (2) to avoid using a microspecies name such as T. scanicum; and (3) despite the lack of typification of the name, I am using T. erythrospermum as a place holder until nomenclatural issues are resolved. This clearly associates the taxon with the section to which it belongs.