Common Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Commn Dandelions are weeds that nearly everyone knows. They grow in lawns and gardens, as well as forests, fields, roadsides, and waste places.

The leaves of dandelions grow in a rosette. This means they all branch out from the center. Leaves are green and grow up to 16 inches long. They usually have large teeth.

Flower stalks grow from March to September. Stalks can be two feet tall. They are hollow and leak out a milky juice when broken. Flowers grow from the end of the stalks.

Common Dandelion flowers are about one and a half inches wide. They have many bright yellow rays.

Dandelions are perennial, so they come back every year.

Copyright, WSSA

After the flowerheads have gone, fruits form and then open up. The seeds inside are attached to many lightweight, white bristles. These bristles allow the seed to travel by wind.

The flowers of Common Dandelion are visited by bees, flies, and butterflies. These animals also help pollinate the flowers.

Deer and rabbits eat dandelion leaves.Birds, such as American Goldfinch, Wild Turkey, and Northern Bobwhite, eat the seeds.

Common Dandelions grow better with a lot of sunlight. You are more likely to see many of them together in fields or lawns than in the forest under trees such as pine, oak, and hickory. Some other plants they are found with include plants in the Aster Family (including goldenrods, Chicory, and Joe-pye Weed), Highbush Blueberry, and Kentucky Bluegrass. They are often found in gardens and lawns with other weeds, such as English Plantain, Smooth Crabgrass, and clover.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Honey Bee

American Dog Tick

Smooth Crabgrass

Honey Bee Po

Clouded Sulphur

Pennsylvania Firefly

Kentucky Bluegrass

Clouded Sulphur Po

Cabbage White

Common Black Ground Beetle

English Plantain

Cabbage White Po

Eastern Cottontail

Daring Jumping Spider

Red Clover

American Goldfinch D

White-tailed Deer

Garden Centipede

Highbush Blueberry

Wild Turkey D

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Goldenrod

Northern Bobwhite D

Wild Turkey

Differential Grasshopper

Chicory

Golden Northern Bumble Bee Po

Northern Bobwhite

Ring-legged Earwig

Spotted Joe-pye Weed

Pennsylvania Firefly

Eastern Hercules Beetle

Black Oak

Cicada Killer

European Starling

Eastern White Pine

Differential Grasshopper

Norway Rat

White Oak

Soil Mite

Eastern Worm Snake

Bull Thistle

Golden Northern Bumble Bee

Black-eyed Susan

White-throated Sparrow

Switchgrass

Bald-faced Hornet

Lamb's Quarters

Common Ragweed

Jimsonweed

Bird-foot Violet

Bushy Aster

Relationship to Humans:

Common Dandelions are both hated and loved by people. Children love to pick them, make chains from them, and blow the seeds into the air. Gardeners despise them, because they can quickly crowd out flowers and vegetables.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Asterales
FAMILY
Asteraceae
GENUS
Taraxacum
SPECIES
Taraxacum officinale

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