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Taraxacum officinale
COMMON DANDELION

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: SUNFLOWER FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, alternate, opposite, rarely whorled, simple to 2+ × compound. Inflorescence: 1° inflorescence a head, resembling a flower, of several types (see below), 1--many in generally +- cyme-like cluster; each head generally with +- calyx-like involucre of 1--many series of phyllaries (involucre bracts); receptacle of head flat to conic or columnar, paleate (bearing paleae = receptacle bracts) or epaleate; flowers 1--many per head. Flower: bisexual, unisexual, or sterile, +- small, of several types (see below); calyx 0 or modified into +- persistent pappus of bristles, scales, and/or awns; corolla radial or bilateral (0), lobes generally (0)3--5; stamens 4--5, filaments generally free, generally fused to corolla at tube/throat junction, anthers generally fused into cylinder around style, anther base generally rounded or cordate (deeply sagittate or with tail-like appendages), tip (= flattened appendage) generally projecting beyond pollen sac; pistil 1, 2-carpeled, ovary inferior, 1-chambered, 1-seeded, placenta basal, style 1, tip generally +- 2-branched (except in some staminate disk flowers), branch tips truncate or generally bearing +- brush-like appendages; stigmas 2, generally on adaxial faces of style branches. Fruit: achene (also called a cypsela) (drupe in Chrysanthemoides), cylindric to ovoid, sometimes compressed, generally deciduous with pappus attached.
Genera In Family: +- 1500 genera, 23000 species: worldwide, many habitats. Note: Flower and head types differ in form and sexual condition. A disk flower has a generally radial corolla, with a cylindric tube, expanded throat, and generally 5 lobes. Disk flowers are generally bisexual and fertile but occasionally staminate with reduced ovaries. Discoid heads comprise only disk flowers. A radiant head is a variant of a discoid head, with peripheral disk flower corollas expanded, often bilateral. A ray flower corolla is bilateral, generally with a slender tube and flattened petal-like ray (single lip composed of generally 3 lobes). Ray flowers are generally pistillate or sterile (occasionally lacking styles). Radiate heads have peripheral ray flowers and central disk flowers. Disciform heads superficially resemble discoid heads, with pistillate or sterile flowers that lack rays, together with or separate from disk flowers. A ligulate flower is bisexual, with a bilateral, generally ephemeral corolla and 5-lobed ligule. Liguliflorous heads comprise only ligulate flowers. See glossary p. 31 for illustrations of family characteristics. Echinops sphaerocephalus L., Gaillardia aristata Pursh, Gaillardia pulchella Foug., Hymenothrix loomisii S.F. Blake, Tagetes erecta L., Thelesperma megapotamicum (Spreng.) Kuntze are waifs. Melampodium perfoliatum Kunth, historic urban waif. Ageratum conyzoides L., Guizotia abyssinica (L. f.) Cass., Santolina chamaecyparisus L., orth. var. are rare or uncommon escapes from cultivation. Dyssodia papposa, Ismelia carinata (Schousb.) Sch. Bip. [Chrysanthemum carinatum Schousb.], Mantisalca salmantica (L.) Briq. & Cavill. are historical or extirpated waifs in California. Inula helenium L. not documented in California. Taxa of Aster in TJM (1993) treated here in Almutaster, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus, Symphyotrichum; Chamomilla in Matricaria; Cnicus in Centaurea; Conyza in Erigeron and Laennecia; Dugaldia in Hymenoxys; Erechtites in Senecio; Hymenoclea in Ambrosia; Lembertia in Monolopia; Osteospermum ecklonis in Dimorphotheca; Picris echioides in Helminthotheca; Prionopsis in Grindelia; Raillardiopsis in Anisocarpus and Carlquistia; Schkuhria multiflora in Bahia; Trimorpha in Erigeron; Venidium in Arctotis; Whitneya in Arnica. Taxa of Arida in TJM2 (2012) treated here in Leucosyris.
Unabridged Note: Largest family of vascular plants in California and of eudicots globally.
eFlora Treatment Author: David J. Keil, except as noted
Scientific Editor: David J. Keil, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TaraxacumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: DANDELION
Habit: Perennial herb from taproot; sap milky. Stem: 0. Leaf: simple, basal, blades oblong to obovate, oblanceolate or linear-oblanceolate, with large distal lobe or not, +- toothed or pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: heads liguliflorous, 1, scapes unbranched, hollow; involucre cylindric to bell-shaped (urn-shaped in fruit); outer phyllaries (6)8--18(20), graduated in 2--3 series, erect or reflexed, ovate to lanceolate, tips horned or not; main phyllaries 7--25 in 2(3) series, equal, erect, spreading to reflexed in fruit, linear, tips horned or not, margin often scarious, irregularly toothed; receptacle +- flat, glabrous, epaleate. Flower: (15)20--150; ligules yellow, readily withering. Fruit: oblanceoloid to obovoid, with slender beak >> body, 4--12-ribbed, ribs sharply roughened, glabrous; pappus of 50--150, white, slender, minutely barbed bristles.
Species In Genus: 60(2000) species, many reproducing by asexually produced seeds: Eurasia, North America, South America, +- worldwide as weeds. Etymology: (Arabic to Persian: bitter herb)
eFlora Treatment Author: Luc Brouillet

Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg.
NATURALIZED
Leaf: generally 20+, narrowly wing-petioled, oblanceolate to obovate, toothed or in flower plant sharply recurved-lobed, lobes +- wide, dentate or occasionally sharply cut. Inflorescence: involucre 14--25 mm; outer phyllaries reflexed, 6--12 mm, lanceolate; main phyllaries 13--18, tips acuminate, hornless. Fruit: olive or olive-brown to straw-colored or +- gray; body sharply rough in distal 1/3. Chromosomes: 2n=24,40.
Ecology: Abundant. Esp disturbed areas; Elevation: < 3300 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB; Distribution Outside California: native to Europe. Flowering Time: All year
Synonyms: Taraxacum laevigatum (Willd.) DC.
eFlora Treatment Author: Luc Brouillet
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Citation for this treatment: Luc Brouillet 2016. Taraxacum officinale, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=5231, accessed on September 27, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on September 27, 2016.


Taraxacum officinale
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Taraxacum officinale
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton
Taraxacum officinale
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© 2013 Gary A. Monroe
Taraxacum officinale
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Taraxacum officinale
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton
Taraxacum officinale
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© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Taraxacum officinale in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Taraxacum officinale:
CA-FP, GB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.