common dandelion

(Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

Conservation Status
common dandelion
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Common dandelion is a widely recognized, 2 to 12 tall, erect, perennial forb. It rises on up to 20 or more basal leaves and 1 to 10 or more flowering stems (scapes) from a deep, somewhat fleshy, seldom branched taproot. When broken the scapes and leaves exude a milky latex.

The leaves are all basal, 2 to 18 long, and ¾ to 4 wide. They are erect to horizontal. They may be shallowly or deeply lobed (pinnatifid), sometimes cut nearly to the midrib. They are often deeply pinnatifid with the lobe ends pointing downwards. The terminal lobe is usually larger than the lateral lobes. Smaller leaves may be unlobed. The upper surface is hairless. The underside has woolly hairs along the midveins and sparse woolly hairs on the surface. The margins may be toothed or untoothed.

The flowering stems are erect or ascending, hollow, leafless, and hairless or with sparse, woolly hairs. They are ¾ to 16 long, usually as long or longer than the leaves.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower head at the end of each scape.

The involucre is composed of an inner series of usually 13 to 20 bracts and an outer series of 11 to 17 bracts. The bracts are often purple tinged toward the tip. The inner bracts are fused at the base with the tips erect at first, later bent backward. They form an urn-shaped or cup-shaped structure that does not have small, horn-like protuberances. The outer bracts are similar in shape but about half as long or less than the inner series. They bend back sharply as the head first develops.

The flower heads are 1 to 2 wide. They are composed of 40 to 120 or more bright yellow, strap-shaped ray florets and no disk florets.

The fruiting head is a whitish, spherical mass with a feathery appearance. The fruit is an olive-colored to greenish-brown seed capsule (cypsela) with a tuft of white hairs attached at the tip. They are dispersed by wind.




2 to 12


Flower Color


Bright yellow


Similar Species


Red-seeded dandelion (Taraxacum erythrospermum) leaves are very deeply cut. The terminal lobe is smaller or at least no wider than the 2 adjacent lateral lobes. The flower heads are no more than 1 across. The achene is reddish-brown.


Forest openings, stream banks, fields, pastures, roadsides, railroads, lawns, disturbed sites.




April to November




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28.




Native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Introduced and naturalized in North America.




Widespread, common, and locally abundant.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Cichorioideae (chicories, dandelions, and allies)  
  Tribe Cichorieae (lettuce, chicory, dandelion, and salsify)  
  Subtribe Crepidinae (dandelions, hawksbeards, and rattlesnake roots)  
  Genus Taraxacum (dandelions)  
  Section Taraxacum (common dandelions)  
  Species Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  

Subordinate Taxa


Many subspecies and microspecies of Taraxacum officinale have been described. One subspecies is native to North America, but its range is restricted to Alaska. Two subspecies have been introduced and naturalized in North America. Only one subspecies occurs in Minnesota.




Leontodon taraxacoides

Leontodon taraxacoides ssp. longirostris

Leontodon taraxacum

Taraxacum dahlstedtii

Taraxacum dens-leonis

Taraxacum devians

Taraxacum officinale var. palustre

Taraxacum retroflexum

Taraxacum rhodolepis

Taraxacum sylvanicum

Taraxacum undulatum

Taraxacum vagans

Taraxacum xanthostigma


Common Names


common dandelion

lesser hawkbit

wandering dandelion












Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.


Compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.



A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed from the wall of the inferior ovary and also from other tissues derived from the receptacle or hypanthium, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



A milky, clear, or sometimes colored sap that coagulates on exposure to air.



Deeply cut, more than half way to the midrib but not to the midrib, into lobes that are spaced out along the midrib; the lobes do not form separate leaflets.



An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Alfredo Colon

    common dandelion      


    common dandelion   common dandelion  


    common dandelion   common dandelion  
    common dandelion      


    common dandelion      


    common dandelion   common dandelion  


    common dandelion      



  Taraxacum officinale
Susanne Wiik
  Taraxacum officinale  

Løvetann, Dandelion

Wez Smith

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).


Copyright DianesDigitals

Andree Reno Sanborn

Taraxacum Officinale

  Taraxacum officinale COMMON DANDELION
Frank Mayfield
  Taraxacum officinale  COMMON DANDELION  



Visitor Videos

Share your video of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.


Other Videos
  Taraxacum (dandelion) time lapse con Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
Andy Dufresne

Uploaded on May 9, 2011

950 scatti circa, intervallo tra uno scatto e il successivo da 7 minuti a 1 minuto. Messa a fuoco e esposizione manuali. Illuminazione artificiale tramite una lampada con diffusore e un pannello di schiarita. Durata totale di tutto il processo: 1 giorno e mezzo.

  Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale (cc)

Uploaded on Jun 4, 2011

Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale (cc) There are fields and fields of blooming dandelion throughout British Columbia in the spring time. Although we have been conditioned to think of them as noxious weeds best dealt with chemical poisons, there are other uses for dandelions.

Small birds are very fond of the seeds of the Dandelion and pigs devour the whole plant greedily. Goats will eat it, but sheep and cattle do not care for it, though it is said to increase the milk of cows when eaten by them. Horses refuse to touch this plant, not appreciating its bitter juice. It is valuable food for rabbits and may be given them from April to September forming excellent food in spring and at breeding seasons in particular.

The young leaves of the Dandelion make an agreeable and wholesome addition to spring salads and are often eaten on the Continent, especially in France. The full-grown leaves should not be taken, being too bitter, but the young leaves, especially if blanched, make an excellent salad, either alone or in combination with other plants, lettuce, shallot tops or chives.

Young Dandelion leaves make delicious sandwiches, the tender leaves being laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon-juice and pepper varies the flavour. The leaves should always be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to keep the flavour.

In Berkshire and Worcestershire, the flowers are used in the preparation of a beverage known as Dandelion Wine. This is made by pouring a gallon of boiling water over a gallon of the flowers. After being well stirred, it is covered with a blanket and allowed to stand for three days, being stirred again at intervals, after which it is strained and the liquor boiled for 30 minutes, with the addition of 3 1/2 lb. of loaf sugar, a little ginger sliced, the rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon sliced. When cold, a little yeast is placed in it on a piece of toast, producing fermentation. It is then covered over and allowed to stand two days until it has ceased 'working,' when it is placed in a cask, well bunged down for two months before bottling. This wine is suggestive of sherry slightly flat, and has the deserved reputation of being an excellent tonic, extremely good for the blood.

The roasted roots are largely used to form Dandelion Coffee, being first thoroughly cleaned, then dried by artificial heat, and slightly roasted till they are the tint of coffee, when they are ground ready for use. The roots are taken up in the autumn, being then most fitted for this purpose. The prepared powder is said to be almost indistinguishable from real coffee, and is claimed to be an improvement to inferior coffee, which is often an adulterated product. Of late years, Dandelion Coffee has come more into use in this country, being obtainable at most vegetarian restaurants and stores. Formerly it used occasionally to be given for medicinal purposes, generally mixed with true coffee to give it a better flavour. The ground root was sometimes mixed with chocolate for a similar purpose. Dandelion Coffee is a natural beverage without any of the injurious effects that ordinary tea and coffee have on the nerves and digestive organs. It exercises a stimulating influence over the whole system, helping the liver and kidneys to do their work and keeping the bowels in a healthy condition, so that it offers great advantages to dyspeptics and does not cause wakefulness.

music by Alexander Blu 06 - Tomorrow

  Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) - 2012-04-27

Published on May 1, 2012

Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called "dandelion"), is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae).

De paardenbloem (Taraxacum officinale) is een soort uit de composietenfamilie (Asteraceae)




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.
  Alfredo Colon
5/30 to 6/1/2021

Location: Woodbury, MN

common dandelion

  Scott Vee

Location: Everywhere right now.

They are coming up like never seen before.  50 to 100 plants per square foot. It seams like "the year of the dandelion".  I'm curious if we will see some other "bloom" in nature, like an over abundance in spiders or other insects?

  Crystal Boyd

Location: Pine Bend Bluffs SNA



Anna Gronseth Prairie

Antelope Valley SNA

Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Banning State Park

Belgium Prairie

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Big Stone Lake State Park

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blackhoof River WMA

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Bonanza Prairie SNA

Boot Lake SNA

Brownsville Bluff SNA

Buffalo River State Park

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Bur Oak WMA

Butterwort Cliffs SNA

Cambria WMA

Camden State Park

Cannon River Turtle Preserve SNA

Cannon River Wilderness Area

Carley State Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Chimney Rock SNA

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

Clinton Prairie SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Crystal Spring SNA

Des Moines River SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Edward Velishek Memorial WMA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Englund Ecotone SNA

Falls Creek SNA

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Flandrau State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Fort Snelling State Park

Foxhome Prairie

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes Preserve

Glynn Prairie SNA

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Great River Bluffs State Park

Greenwater Lake SNA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Gustafson’s Camp SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hardscrabble Woods / MG Tusler Sanctuary

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Iona’s Beach SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Itasca State Park

Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA

Jay Cooke State Park

John A. Latsch State Park

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie

Kasota Prairie SNA

Keller Regional Park

Kettledrummer Prairie

Kilen Woods State Park

King’s and Queen’s Bluff SNA

La Salle Lake SNA

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lake Bemidji State Park

Lake Bronson State Park

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Langhei Prairie SNA

Lawrence Creek SNA

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lester Lake SNA

Lost 40 SNA

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lundblad Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

McCarthy Beach State Park

McKnight Prairie

Miesville Ravine Park Reserve

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Mille Lacs WMA

Miller Prairie, West Unit

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR, Black Dog Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Chaska Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Louisville Swamp Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Rapids Lake Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Wilkie Unit

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, Lawrence Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Monson Lake State Park

Moose Lake State Park

Morton Outcrops SNA

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myhr Creek Ridge SNA

Myre-Big Island State Park

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Ney Nature Center

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Old Mill State Park

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

P.N. and G.M. Nelson Wildlife Sanctuary

Pankratz Memorial Prairie, North Unit

Partch Woods SNA

Paul Bunyan Savanna

Phelps Lake WMA

Pilot Knob

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Potato Lake SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Quarry Park SNA

Racine Prairie SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake State Park

Richard M. & Mathilde Rice Elliott SNA

Ripley Esker SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rockville County Park

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sakatah Lake State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Santee Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Schaefer Prairie

Schoolcraft State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seminary Fen SNA

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Seven Sisters Prairie

Seven Springs WMA

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Sibley State Park

Split Rock Creek State Park

Spring Beauty Northern Hardwoods SNA

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Lake Regional Park

Spring Prairie Preserve

Springbrook Nature Center

Staffanson Prairie

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Tamarack Nature Center

Thompson County Park

Tiedemann WMA

Town Hall Prairie

Townsend Woods SNA

Tribute WMA

Twin Lakes SNA

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Tympanuchus Prairie

Uncas Dunes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Western Prairie SNA

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

Whitney Island SNA

Wild Indigo SNA

Wild River State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wolsfeld Woods SNA

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Regional Park

Zumbro Falls Woods SNA





Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © All rights reserved.