Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)flowermeadow

Bloom time: April – June

Additional photos:

General: Common plant, 5-40 cm tall, introduced to Canada from Europe.

Leaves & Twigs: Deeply toothed leaves grow from the base of the plant, appearing before the flowers.

Flowers & Fruits:

  • Flower heads are yellow and the flower stem is hollow and leafless.
  • After full bloom, white, fluffy, round balls of seeds appear. The parachuted seeds are blown away by the wind.
  • Main flowering is in spring, but scattered blooms continue all summer.

Habitat: Dandelions grow almost anywhere, but are common in cultivated areas and wastelands.

PlantWatch Pointers: Make sure your patch is not mowed until your bloom observations have been made. Choose a location at least 10 m away from a building or obstacle. If these plants are very abundant, mark a patch 1 metre square.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when the first seed-head opens, forming a white, fluffy ball of seeds.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

The name dandelion comes from the French, dents de lion, which means “teeth of the lion,” and refers to the jagged edges on the leaves of the dandelion plant.