Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Dandelion
Give a thumbs up Common dandelion
Give a thumbs up Tell-The-Time
Give a thumbs up Clockflower
Give a thumbs up Doonhead
Give a thumbs up Puffball
Give a thumbs up Wild Endive
Give a thumbs up Fortune-Teller
Give a thumbs up Chicoria
Give a thumbs up Bitterwort
Give a thumbs up Lion's Tooth
Give a thumbs up Faceclock
Give a thumbs up Blowball
Give a thumbs up Priest's Crown

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Head of dry achenes (containing seeds) with clusters of hairs that allow seeds to be blown by the wind
Fruiting Time: Spring
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Groundcover
Culinary Herb
Medicinal Herb
Salad greens
Cooked greens
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Leaves
Dynamic Accumulator: P (Phosphorus)
K (Potassium)
Ca (Calcium)
Mg (Magnesium)
Fe (Iron)
Cu (Copper)
Si (Silicon)
Na (Sodium)
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Tolerates foot traffic
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Self fertile
Sow in situ
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Root
Pollinators: Self
Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger


Let 'em Grow:  DandelionsLet 'em Grow: Dandelions
May 22, 2012

This is one in a series of very short articles that might change your mind about some surprisingly good weeds. And even if your mind isn't changed, you'll still be well informed.

(Full article79 comments)
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Posted by crittergarden (Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh - Zone 6a) on Jun 15, 2014 5:25 AM

Dandelions are essential food for our pollinators.
With pollinators in danger of disappearing, always leave some dandelions for them to feed on!
Plant more, if you can.

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Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Dec 8, 2016 6:31 PM

Non-native invasive, originally imported by early sailing ships. Young leaves may be eaten raw or cooked; the root as a vegetable or ground for a coffee substitute; and the flower petals for wine or beer. Very versatile plant. I use the first flush of dandelions as an "earth sign" for planting root crops (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.). I also love the look of pastures awash with dandelions, both the yellow flowers and the white puffballs. Livestock will eat them, although they certainly don't eradicate them. I don't mind dandelions in my lawn, either. They bring some color to the green expanse, and they are not unpleasant to walk on like other lawn weeds.

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Posted by bennysplace (Castle Rock, CO - Zone 5a) on May 22, 2013 4:58 PM

I realize how most people feel about this plant but I made it a point to take my time and capture this macro image of what I think is a very beautiful flower. The dandelion is an amazing plant and it actually saddens me that it is the poster child of weeds that must be destroyed by the various herbicide manufacturers. Incorporating the leaves into your salad can provide you with a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, Riboflavin, vitamin C, A and K, iron and calcium. I hope you like this photo as much as I enjoyed taking it.

I personally grow dandelions on purpose as a part of my leafy vegetable garden and though the leaves have a slightly bitter taste, they are wonderful mixed in with chard, arugula, and baby spinach with perhaps a raspberry vinaigrette poured over the top. Enjoy!

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Posted by crittergarden (Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh - Zone 6a) on Jun 24, 2014 11:15 AM

Dandelions, along with white clover, are important food sources for bees. In our quest for lawns resembling golf courses, we have removed so much of this source, but the bees and other pollinators NEED it. PLANT some, or at least leave it alone for them.

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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Oct 20, 2011 6:42 PM

The common Dandelion is a recognizable perennial found in most temperate areas of the world. Considered a weed by most, it grows in lawns, along roadsides and ditches and other areas with moist soil. The plant grows from a basal rosette with deeply lobed leaves. The solitary yellow flowers are borne at the ends of 2" to 6" erect unbranched stems. The seed heads look like white puffballs.

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Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Nov 15, 2011 10:12 PM

This common and often aggravating weed has greens that are edible either as a salad or cooked. They furnish a rich source of vitamins A and C. Our ancestors dried the roots, ground them then brewed them as a coffeelike beverage. They also made a tonic from the roots to be used for a diuretic effect.

The roots can be boiled to make a magenta dye and the flowers can be boiled to make yellow dye.
Dandelion wine can be made from the blooms as well.

The plant's use as a tonic is fairly well substantiated.

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Posted by NEILMUIR1 (London\Kent Border) on May 3, 2013 6:12 PM

Makes good coffee and salad leaves!

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Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on May 4, 2016 7:20 PM

Common dandelion is very similar to red-seeded dandelion (Taraxacum erythrospermum), which has also been introduced to North America. The two can be distinguished by the shape of the leaves, features in the green bracts (phyllaries) surrounding the head of flowers, and the color of the seeds.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Stellar photograph! by lovemyhouse Jan 8, 2013 9:35 AM 1
Wonderful shot, Myriam by SongofJoy Jan 8, 2013 12:16 PM 3
Weeds!! by cadecker Jun 26, 2018 10:38 PM 9
What specie is this? 5 (Binomial name please) by NightCrow Jun 1, 2018 6:25 PM 2
What specie is this? 4 (Binomial name please) by NightCrow Jun 1, 2018 7:06 PM 2
Weeds, can we appreciate them? by LindaTX8 Feb 26, 2019 12:37 PM 90
Which "weed"? by SongofJoy Oct 6, 2014 11:43 AM 35
New data field: Dynamic Accumulators by dave Jul 28, 2014 9:00 PM 3

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