Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Taraxacum officinale
common dandelion

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Common in disturbed areas, fields, lawns, from the coast to the alpine.

Flowers: March-October

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Apomixis, bees, flies


Mostly glabrous perennial herb from a fleshy taproot, strictly scapose, the scape to 50 cm. high, with milky juice.


Leaves all basal, oblanceolate, 6-40 cm. long and 0.7-15 cm. wide, with lobes that angle backward, the terminal lobe the largest, tapering to a narrow base.


Scape hollow, with a few soft hairs upward, terminating in a large, solitary head; involucre 1.5-2.5 cm. high, the bracts in two series, the outer shorter, the inner 13-21, these at first erect, becoming reflexed; corollas all ligulate, bright yellow; the mature achenes and the white pappus form a ball.


Body of the achene light brown, 3-4 mm. long, with a beak 2.5-4 times as long as the body.

Accepted Name:
Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg.
Publication: Prim. Fl. Holsat. 56. 1780.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg. ssp. vulgare (Lam.) Schinz & R. Keller
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Taraxacum officinale in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Taraxacum officinale checklist entry

OregonFlora: Taraxacum officinale information

E-Flora BC: Taraxacum officinale atlas page

CalPhotos: Taraxacum officinale photos

37 photographs:
Group by