dandelion USDA PLANTS Symbol: TAOF
U.S. Nativity: Native
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Taraxacum officinale G.H. Weber ex Wiggers

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Asterales: Asteraceae
Synonym(s): common dandelion, blowball, dandelion, faceclock
Native Range: (NRCS)

Appearance
Taraxacum officinale is a perennial that grows best in moist areas in full sun. Its strong taproot is capable of penetrating the soil to a depth of 10-15 ft. (3-4.6 m), but it is most commonly 6-18 in. (15.2-45.7 cm) deep.
Foliage
Leaves are clustered in a rosette at the base of the plant. Leaves vary in length from 2-14 in. (5.1-35.6 cm) and from 0.5-3 in. (1.3-7.6 cm) wide. Margins of the leaves are deeply serrated.
Flowers
Flowering stalks are 6-24 in. (15.2-61 cm) in length and terminate in a compound inflorescence or head that contains 100 to 300 ray flowers and looks like a characteristic puffball. Each ray flower has a strap-shaped yellow petal with five notches at the tip. Taraxacum officinale flowers are not normally pollinated but develop asexually. The seeds are achenes and are about 0.13 in. (0.32 cm) in length with five to eight ribs.
Ecological Threat
Taraxacum officinale can be a major weed problem for turf and ornamental managers. In turf, it forms clumps that cause poor footing for athletic fields and golf courses. When this plant infests turfgrass and ornamental plantings, it forms dense circular mats of leaves that crowd out desirable species and reduce the vigor of those plants that survive.

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Flower(s); A serious weed of urban areas throughout the United States, was introduced into New England by European colonists in the 1600s as a salad green.
Bonnie Harper-Lore, Federal Highway Administration, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Lynn Sosnoskie, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; basal rosette
Robert Vid├ęki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); top view of single plant in flower
Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); head gone to seed
Kenneth M. Gale, , Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); Dandelion flower in seed
Joseph Berger, , Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); Dandelion seed
Joseph Berger, , Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Ken Chamberlain, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
Ohio State Weed Lab , The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); in lawn; early in year
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)
Chiricahua National Monument (Arizona)
Craters of the Moon National Monument (Idaho)
Death Valley National Park (California)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Haleakala National Park (Hawaii)
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)



Invasive Listing Sources:
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Faith Campbell, 1998
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.