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Dandelion Identification

Dandelion CU

Identification and Biology
The dandelion is one of the most common and recognizable weeds. The official name for the dandelion is Taraxacum officinale,(2) which means  official remedy for disorders”.(1) There are many common names for  dandelions, including priest’s crown, Irish daisy, monk’s head, telltime, blowball, and lion’s tooth.(1)

The dandelion is a broadleaf weed, with a deep, fleshy tap root. What looks  like a dandelion flower is actually many tiny yellow flowers surrounded by leafy bracts.(3) They are produced on stalks 6 to 40 centimeters tall (2.5 to 16 inches) clustered at the base of the plant.(2)

The common dandelion is a biennial or perennial plant which reproduces by seed.(2) The seeds spread with the help of their downy parachutes.(3)

People often confuse the common dandelion with the false dandelion, Hypochoeris radicata. The false dandelion looks similar to the common dandelion(2) and can be controlled with the same methods.(4)


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1. Mattern, V. 1994. Don’t weed ‘em eat ‘em. Organic Gardening 41(4):70.
2. Gilkey, H. M. 1967. Handbook of northwestern plants. Corvallis, OR. Oregon State University Bookstores, Inc. p.472.
3. Dalby, R. 1999. The delightful dandelion. American Bee Journal 139: 300-301.
4. Clemson Univ. Cooperative Extension Service. Undated. Clemson Extension garden center: Broadleaf weeds.


3-part article about flame weeding:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Weed Techniques-Green Safe Weed Control Solutions

Flame Engineering (natural, heat-based weed control products)

Klass, C. and M.P. Hoffman. 1996. Attracting insect’s natural enemies. Ecogardening factsheet #14. Cornell Univ. Dept. of Horticulture.

Hill, S.P. and B. Walsh. 1992. Ecological lawn maintenance. EAP Publication - 68. Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University.

Mcdonald, D.K. 1999. Ecologically sound lawn care for the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: Seattle Public Utilities

Hummel, N.W. 1990. Lawn care without pesticides. Cornell Cooperative Extension Home and Grounds Fact Sheet, Nov. 12. Olkowski, W., S. Daar, and H. Olkowski. 1991.

Schultz, W. 1989. The chemical-free lawn. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, p. 127.

Forevergreen Chemical Free Weed Control. Undated. Punto.

Morris, C. How to have a dynamite lawn.

Metro Regional Services and Oregon Dept. of Environ. Quality. 1998. Natural gardening: A guide to alternatives to pesticides, p.48. /