Taraxacum officinale (Common Dandelion)

Scientific Name

Taraxacum officinale F. H. Wigg.

Common Names

Dandelion, Common Dandelion, Lion' s-Tooth

Synonyms 

Leontodon taraxacum, Taraxacum dens-leonis, Taraxacum vulgare

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum

Flower

Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Spring to summer

Description

Taraxacum officinale is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 15.7 inches (40 cm) tall. The stems produce flower heads that are upright or lax. Leaves are shiny, without hairs, up to 17.7 inches (45 cm) long, and up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide. All the leaves are basal. Flowers are hermaphrodite, yellow, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Each flowering stem has one single flower head.

Taraxacum officinale - Common Dandelion
Photo via panoramio.com

How to Grow and Care

At a very basic level, you don't need to do much to grow Dandelions. Chances are there is a whole yard full of them near where you live, perhaps even right outside your door. Still, it's likely that the Dandelion plants growing in your lawn are Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale subsp. vulgare). This is the most common variety of Dandelion, but thousands of varieties and cultivars are found around the world. Common Dandelion has all the health benefits mentioned above, but they tend to be a bit more bitter than some of the other varieties of Dandelion you can buy.

Dandelions are a very bitter green by nature, but there are steps you can take to reduce how bitter it is. First, grow a less bitter variety. The right variety can make Dandelion greens taste much better than the wild variety growing in your yard.

Second, try growing Dandelions in the shade. This will blanch the leaves some and will result in a less bitter leaf. Alternately, you can manually blanch the Dandelion leaves by covering the plants a few days before you are ready to harvest. See more at How to Grow and Care for Dandelion.

Origin

It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, lawns, roadsides, disturbed banks and shores of waterways, and other areas with moist soils.

Links

BACK TO genus Taraxacum
PLANTOPEDIA: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common NameGenusFamily, or Origin

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