Taraxacum officinale, Common Dandelion
Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale
Common Name: Common Dandelion
Also Called: Blowball, Faceclock and Dandelion (Spanish: Diente de León, Achicoria Amarga, Amargón, Moraja)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Taraxacum kok-saghyz, Taraxacum. vulgare, Taraxacum officinale ssp. vulgare, Taraxacum palustre var. vulgare)
Status: Introduced from Europe
Duration: Perennial, taproot
Size: Up to 1 foot.
Growth Form: Herb/forb; basal rosette; low growing with erect hollow flowering stalk, milky juice.
Leaves: Bright green; basal rosette; variable length up to 10 inche, margins pinnately divided with long and narrow lobes, end lobe larger than the others, margins also toothed.
Flower Color: Bright golden-yellow ligulate medium size flower heads; to 1.5 inches, ligules toothed on outer ends; solitary flower head on hollow leafless stems of various length (scape); seed-heads are classic globular fluffy balls of soft parachute like seeds.
Flowering Season: April to September but may bloom throughout the year in Arizona.
Elevation: To 9,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Lower and upper deserts, pine and chaparral communities, sunny open places, riparian areas, meadows, lawns, gardens and roadsides.
Recorded Range: Throughout North America and Baja California and northern, central and southern Mexico. Throughout the eastern 2/3 of Arizona in various habitat types.
U.S. Weed Information: Taraxacum officinale is listed in: Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: a field guide, Weeds of the Northeast, Weeds of Nebraska and the Great Plains, Weeds of the United States and Canada, and Weeds of the West. Plants included here may become weedy or invasive.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: Taraxacum officinale is listed on the USDA 2012 National Wetland Plant List.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Genus Information: 9 species in Taraxacum throughout North America. 3 species in Arizona, 1 native species; the Harp Dandelion, Taraxacum lyratum is found in Coconino County. 1 subspecies of Taraxacum officinale in Arizona;
Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale, Common Dandelion.
Comments: Common dandelion is a common introduced species from Europe with a small but attractive flower. It can be an aggressive invasive weed in lawns and gardens and difficult to remove. Wine is made from the flowers and its leaves are favored by many as greens for salads while the roots are thought to have medicinal properties are also used in salads.
Many ethno-botanical uses have been identified including a treatment for sore throats and stomach pain and eaten as greens to purify the blood. See the full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.