dandelion


dandelion

taraxacum officinale

Scientific name

Taraxacum officinale grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5-40 cm (2.0-15.7 in) tall, but sometimes up to 70 cm (28 in) 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. In many lineages, fruits are mostly produced by apomixis,[10] notwithstanding the flowers are visited by many types of insects.[11]

The leaves are 5-45 cm (2.0-17.7 in) long and 1-10 cm (0.39-3.94 in) 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.[10]

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 14-25 mm (0.55-0.98 in) 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.

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Image credit: Walther Otto Müller

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

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