Taraxacum officinale Wigg.

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Dandelion is a glabrous herbacious perennial with a basal rosette of leaves and a single reddish hollow scape.  The leaves are shallowly pinnately cleft or they may be only slightly irregularly toothed or almost entire.  They are spathulate to oblanceolate in outline and are on very short or no petioles.  The ligulate flower heads are solitary on the 2"-8" long stems and are 1" to 2" in diameter.  Each of the ligulate flowers is toothed.  The outer phyllaries are reflexed, and the inner ones with acute to truncate tips form a single row.  The grayish to olive-brown achenes are long beaked with tufts of capillary hairs and numerous tubercles near the tip.  Dandelion is a very common weed of lawns, meadows and waste places in much of cismontane and montane California, blooming most of the year.  It is naturalized from Europe.  The first two pictures are from Santa Ynez Canyon and the third was taken in Franklin Canyon, both places in the Santa Monica Mts.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Taraxacum 2) officinale.
Pronunciation: tar-AX-a-kum oh-fis-in-AY-lee.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.