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Common Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
35 centimetres tall
Beaches, cliffs, ditches, fields, gardens, grassland, heathland, hedgerows, lawns, meadows, moorland, mountains, parks, riverbanks, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, scrub, sea cliffs, seaside, towns, walls, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
Leafless flower stalks contain a milky sap. Yellow flowers, often reddish underneath, up to 6cm wide.
The fruit is a pappus. A spherical head of white seeds, often known as a 'clock'. The seeds are called 'achenes'.
Variable in shape and having basal leaves only. They have deep lobed, long leaves, up to 30cm. The word 'dandelion' comes from the French for 'Lion's tooth'. This is referring to the shape of the leaf margins. In the UK there are more than 230 species of Dandelion, all with subtle differences.
The fragrance of dandelion flowers in the UK can be described as mildly honey-like, emitting a subtle and sweet aroma.
Other Names:
Bitterwort, Blow-ball, Cankerwort, Clockflower, Irish Daisy, Lion's Tooth, Priest's Crown, Puffball, Swine's Snout, Tell-time, Yellow Gowan.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Taraxacum officinale, also known as the common dandelion, is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, but it can be found all over the world, including North America. The plant has bright yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, and it produces seeds with fluffy white tops that are carried by the wind. The leaves of the plant are long and jagged, and the root is a long, thin taproot that is often used medicinally. Dandelions are known for their ability to grow in a variety of habitats and their ability to tolerate a range of conditions, including drought and poor soil quality. They are also popular as a food source and are used in various cuisines around the world.


The Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial herb that is found in many parts of the world. It is a member of the Asteraceae family, which also includes other plants such as chrysanthemums and sunflowers.

Dandelions are well-known for their bright yellow flowers that appear in the spring and summer. The flowers are actually made up of many small individual florets, which eventually turn into the familiar puffball-like seed heads that can be blown away by the wind. The dandelion's leaves are long and jagged, and are typically a deep green color.

The common dandelion is often considered a weed by many people, as it can quickly spread and take over a lawn or garden. However, it is also valued for its medicinal properties and as a food source. The leaves and roots of the dandelion can be used to make tea, which is believed to have diuretic properties and may be helpful in treating conditions such as high blood pressure. The leaves can also be eaten raw or cooked, and are rich in vitamins A and C as well as iron and calcium.

In addition to its medicinal and food uses, dandelions also play an important role in the ecosystem. They are a valuable food source for many species of insects, especially bees and butterflies, and the flowers are a major source of nectar for these pollinators.

Another interesting fact about dandelions is that they are a type of “weed” that is native to Europe and Asia, but they have been introduced to other parts of the world and have become naturalized. They have a deep taproot that allows them to grow in a variety of soil types and conditions, and they can tolerate drought and poor soil quality. This makes them a hardy and resilient plant that can survive in many different environments.

Dandelions also have a long history of use in traditional medicine. The roots have been used to make a tonic that is believed to help with digestive issues and liver function, and the leaves have been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema. The flowers have also been used to make a yellow dye for fabrics and food.

There are many ways to control or remove dandelions from your lawn or garden, but it is important to remember that they are not harmful to the environment and can be beneficial to wildlife. If you wish to control their spread, you can use physical methods such as digging up the roots or applying a systemic herbicide. However, you can also choose to let them grow and enjoy their bright yellow flowers.

Another unique aspect of dandelions is their ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually. Their seeds are produced sexually, but they also reproduce asexually through a process called vegetative reproduction. This occurs when the plant's roots or leaves grow new plants. This allows them to spread quickly and colonize new areas.

Dandelions are also known for their ability to withstand and thrive in urban environments, They are often found growing in cracks in pavements, in medians and along roadsides, and can survive in areas with high levels of pollution and poor soil quality.

In addition to their medicinal and food uses, dandelions are also used in the production of wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages. The flowers and leaves can be used to make a light and refreshing wine, while the roots can be used to make a dark and bitter coffee substitute.

Overall, Dandelions are a fascinating plant that offers much more than just a yellow flower. They are hardy, resilient, and offer a variety of benefits to both humans and the environment. They are not only a weed but also a valuable food and medicine source, and an important pollinator for many species of insects. Next time you come across a dandelion, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and benefits it provides.

40 Facts About Dandelions

Here are 40 interesting facts about the Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale):

  1. The common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is a flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family.
  2. Dandelions are native to Europe and Asia, but they've spread worldwide.
  3. Every part of the dandelion is edible: roots, leaves, and flowers.
  4. The name "dandelion" is derived from the French "dent-de-lion," meaning lion's tooth, referring to the toothed edges of its leaves.
  5. Dandelions have been used in traditional medicine for various purposes, like improving digestion and liver health.
  6. They're rich in vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like iron and calcium.
  7. Dandelion greens are often used in salads or cooked as a leafy green vegetable.
  8. The roots of dandelions can be roasted and used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute.
  9. Dandelions produce a milky white latex when their stems are broken.
  10. The bright yellow flowers of dandelions turn into fluffy white seed heads called "pappus" that disperse in the wind.
  11. Each dandelion head can produce up to 200 seeds.
  12. The seeds are designed for wind dispersal, ensuring the plant's wide distribution.
  13. Dandelions are adaptable plants that can grow in diverse environments, from lawns to cracks in sidewalks.
  14. They're perennial plants, living for several years.
  15. Dandelion roots have deep taproots that can reach up to 15 feet underground.
  16. The leaves are often deeply notched or lobed, giving them a distinctive appearance.
  17. Dandelions can flower at any time of the year, depending on climate and conditions.
  18. These flowers are valuable sources of nectar for bees and other pollinators.
  19. Dandelions were brought to North America by European settlers for their medicinal and nutritional properties.
  20. They're considered a weed in many lawns, but they have several beneficial uses.
  21. Dandelions have been used in traditional herbal medicine for treating various ailments, including inflammation and high blood pressure.
  22. Dandelion sap has been used traditionally to treat warts.
  23. The bright yellow flowers close up at night and on overcast days.
  24. Dandelions have been used to make dandelion wine and tea.
  25. Some species of dandelions are specifically cultivated for their ornamental value.
  26. The plant is known for its diuretic properties, aiding in reducing water retention.
  27. Dandelion sap can cause skin irritation in some individuals.
  28. Its name, "officinale," signifies that the plant has been used medicinally since ancient times.
  29. Dandelions can be indicators of soil conditions due to their ability to thrive in various soils.
  30. The flowers open with the rising sun and close at night or when it's overcast.
  31. The roots contain inulin, a type of soluble fiber beneficial for gut health.
  32. Dandelion leaves can be slightly bitter due to their natural compounds.
  33. The flowers are used to make dandelion jelly or infused into syrup.
  34. Dandelion is a perennial, capable of returning year after year.
  35. The dried roots have been used in herbal medicine to make dandelion tea.
  36. Its long taproot enables the plant to access nutrients deep within the soil.
  37. The seed dispersal mechanism of dandelions aids in their proliferation.
  38. Dandelion flowers have a mild honey-like scent.
  39. The roots were historically used in some cultures to treat liver disorders.
  40. Dandelions are known as pioneer plants, often the first to sprout in disturbed or damaged soil.

These facts illustrate the fascinating characteristics and various uses of the common dandelion.


Video 1: Common Dandelion filmed in Lancashire on the 19th September 2022.


Video 2: Common Dandelions filmed at in several locations throughout 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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