Common Dandelion

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale
Family Name: Asteraceae

Flower: Yellow flower 1.5 inches (4 cm.) wide. The flower has rayed petals, and each petal has 5 tiny teeth at the end.

Leaf: Jagged deeply toothed basal leaves that grow variably 2 - 16 inches (5 - 40 cm.) long.

Plant: Grows to a height of 2 – 18 inches (5 – 45 cm.) between March and October. When the stalk is broken, it exudes a milky white sap.

Identifying Characteristics: Common Dandelion has 2 identifying characteristics: its jaggedly lobed leaves and its bracts that point downwards from the base of the flower.

Location: We saw many examples of Common Dandelion on the Brandeis campus, but the one pictured here was growing on the lawn next to the Shapiro dorm building across from H-lot.

History and Comments: Common Dandelion is native to Eurasia, but is now found all over the world as a lawn weed. It is called Dandelion, because the leaves' teeth resemble a lion's teeth.

    Unless otherwise specified, all text, photographs, and drawings are Copyright (c) by Shu-Yee Chen and Deborah Hamer 2003. No part of this page may be reproduced without prior written consent of the authors.