Common Dandelion

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial weed with a thick, fleshy taproot and no stem. Leaves grow in a rosette from the crown. They are long, narrow, irregularly lobed, and lance shaped. The lobed tips are often opposite each other and pointing toward the crown. Leaves are often purple at the base and leaves and flower stalks emit a milky white sap when broken. The deep golden yellow flowers are borne in heads on long hollow stalks. Blossoms soon mature into spherical clusters of whitish fruits, like white puffballs, composed of parachute-like seeds. Seeds are carried by the wind. Cat's ear dandelion is similar to common dandelion. Common dandelion plants can be distinguished because young leaves do not have hairs, whereas cat's ear dandelion leaves have dense hairs.

Cultural Control

Perennial broadleaf turf weeds are capable of living more than two years. They thrive in weak, thin turf; golf fairways and roughs; home lawns; playfields; and industrial grounds. Proper turf maintenance is the key to control of this weed. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.

Species Data

    • perennial weed
    • one
    • irregular border; lobes point back toward base of plant
      Figure 8
    • older leaves may have hairs
    • young leaves are oval to spatulate; older leaves are lance-shaped or oblong
    • 12 - 1 inch
    • whorled or basal rosette
    • taproot
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion growth habit.
Common dandelion leaf margin.
Common dandelion leaf venation.
Common dandelion flower color.