Taraxacum sect. Taraxacum F.H.Wigg.

Dandelions are well-known, robust weeds; vernacular names for the dandelion include 'wet-the-bed' and 'pissy-beds', which refer to the belief that just touching part of a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. Dandelion fruiting heads are familiar to children as dandelion clocks, which are used to 'tell the time' by the number of blows taken to remove the fruits (for this reason dandelions are often known as 'blowballs' in the USA).

[CPLC]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Colombia

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
Commonly known as dandelion, Taraxacum officinale has many culinary and medicinal uses, despite being generally regarded as a weed.

Dandelions are well-known, robust weeds; vernacular names for the dandelion include 'wet-the-bed' and 'pissy-beds', which refer to the belief that just touching part of a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. Dandelion fruiting heads are familiar to children as dandelion clocks, which are used to 'tell the time' by the number of blows taken to remove the fruits (for this reason dandelions are often known as 'blowballs' in the USA).

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

Taraxacum officinale is native to Eurasia. The genus Taraxacum has a wide, cosmopolitan distribution, with species found as far afield as Mexico and South America.

Description

The common name derives from the French ' dent de lion ', meaning 'lion's tooth', which refers to the deeply toothed, deep green leaves, which are in rosettes.

The bright yellow flower heads are borne on hollow stalks and the fruiting heads have a distinctive downy appearance.

As most British dandelions produce fruit without being fertilised (they are apomictic), substantial problems arise with the taxonomy of these plants. This group is a complex consisting of around 200 microspecies, and is typically treated as a species aggregate, denoted as Taraxacum officinale agg. In reality, the specimen that was used to describe the species first of all has turned out to be a microspecies restricted to Lapland, and it is not the same as the plants seen in grassland, lawns and along path edges in Britain. Trying to identify the microspecies has turned into a science of its own, with the experts termed 'taraxacologists'!

The dandelion is a perennial plant, and flowers throughout the year. Dandelions have deep taproots, and the whole plant contains a milky fluid known as latex. The flowerheads close at night, and can produce around 2,000 wind-dispersed fruits. Plants can also regenerate from pieces of the taproot.

Uses

Although generally regarded as a weed, dandelions have many uses, both culinary and medicinal.

Taraxacum officinale has diuretic and laxative properties. It has been used as a tonic, to treat rheumatic problems, and as a blood purifier. Young leaves and inflorescences are used as ingredients in salads and stir-fries.

Blanched hearts (obtained by earthing up or tying the leaves together) are also eaten. The flowerheads are used to make dandelion wine, while the bitter root can be dried to make a substitute for coffee, a practice that was common during the rationing of the Second World War.

Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life world wide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.

Search Kew's Seed Information Database for further information on Taraxacum officinale seeds

Cultivation

Taking the fruits from dandelion clocks can provide hundreds of plants if they are sown onto an all-purpose compost in deep pots, to accommodate the roots, or straight onto open soil. Plants are likely to start flowering in their second year. There are seed suppliers who stock a thick-leaved variety, more suitable for growing as a salad vegetable.

The dandelion is so successful at colonising abandoned areas of the garden that no help is really needed to grow it. The plentiful one-seeded fruits are carried on the wind and can travel relatively long distances so neglecting a garden will usually ensure that this plant appears. Removing it is more difficult, as the long, thick taproots will delve down deeply into a border or lawn and even in cracks in paving, making them hard to remove completely. Chopping off the top of the plant is not enough to kill it as it will sprout again from the remaining roots. Rabbits love the leaves so if you have one as a pet it may appreciate a patch of dandelions being allowed to grow in a corner of the garden. The flowers and fruiting heads are attractive but this plant can soon take over and, because it is so strongly associated with a poorly kept garden, deliberate cultivation is rare.

Distribution
United Kingdom
Ecology
Found in a very wide variety of habitats, but tends to thrive in disturbed sites such as lawns, paths, waste ground, pastures and road verges. Some species are found in natural or semi-natural habitats, including fens, sand dunes and chalk grassland.
Conservation
Extremely common and widespread.
Hazards

Not recorded

[UPFC]
Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean. Elevation range: 1100–4300 m a.s.l. Endemic to Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Bogotá DC, Boyacá, Caldas, Cundinamarca, Huila, Nariño, Putumayo, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima, Valle del Cauca.
Habit
Herb.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, native grassland, desert, artificial - terrestrial.

[UNAL]

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

Vernacular
achicoria, amargón, chicoria, chicoria amarilla, colmillo de león, diente de león

[UPB]

The Useful Plants of Boyacá project

Distribution
Naturalised in Colombia.
Ecology
Alt. 1100 - 4300 m.
Conservation
Not Evaluated.
Morphology General Habit
Herb.

[UPFC]
Distribution
Found in Boyacá, Colombia.
Vernacular
Diente de león

[CPLC]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Naturalizada en Colombia; Alt. 1100 - 4300 m.; Andes.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba
Conservation
No Evaluada

[UPFC]
Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Invertebrate Food
Used as invertebrate food.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.

[UPB]
Use Animal Food
Eaten by animals (State of the World's Plants 2016).
Use Food Vegetables
Leaves - Used in salads (Florez-Cárdenas et al. 2010).
Use Medicines Circulatory System Disorders
Used in liquid medicines for cardiovascular complaints (Florez-Cárdenas et al. 2010).
Use Medicines Digestive System Disorders
Used in liquid medicines as a laxative (Lagos-López 2007). Used in liquid medicines for detoxification purposes (Cadena-González 2010).
Use Medicines Genitourinary System Disorders
Used in liquid medicines for kidney complaints (Cadena-González 2010). Used in liquid medicines as a diuretic (Díaz et al. 2003, Lagos-López 2007).
Use Medicines Infections & Infestations
Used in liquid medicines (Cadena-González 2010).
Use Medicines Muscular-Skeletal System Disorders
Used in liquid medicines (Florez-Cárdenas et al. 2010).
Use Medicines Respiratory System Disorders
Used in liquid medicines to enhance lungs function (Cadena-González 2010).
Use Medicines Skin or Subcutaneous Cellular Tissue Disorders
Used as an astringent (Florez-Cárdenas et al. 2010).
Use Medicines Unspecified Medicinal Disorders
Medicinal (State of the World's Plants 2016, Instituto Humboldt 2014).

Native to:

Albania, Altay, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Canary Is., Central European Rus, Corse, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, Finland, France, Føroyar, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Madeira, Morocco, Netherlands, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sicilia, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Ukraine, West Siberia, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Antipodean Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, British Columbia, California, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Chatham Is., Chile Central, Chile South, China North-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Falkland Is., Florida, Free State, Georgia, Greenland, Haiti, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Iowa, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kansas, Kentucky, Kerguelen, Korea, KwaZulu-Natal, Labrador, Lesotho, Louisiana, Madagascar, Maine, Malaya, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Namibia, Nebraska, Nepal, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Newfoundland, Niue, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Northwest Territorie, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Is., Prince Edward I., Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Saskatchewan, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, South Georgia, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Tuamotu, Uruguay, Utah, Venezuela, Vermont, Victoria, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Virginia, Western Australia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Yukon, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

English
Dandelion
Spanish
Diente de león, chicoria, lechuguilla.

Taraxacum sect. Taraxacum F.H.Wigg. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Cope, T.A. [RBG 320], United Kingdom K000914428 Yes
Cope, T.A. [RBG 320], United Kingdom K000914429 Yes
Cope, T.A. [RBG 317], United Kingdom K000914430 Yes
Cope, T.A. [RBG 316], United Kingdom K000914431 Yes
Cope, T.A. [RBG 46], United Kingdom K000914432 Yes
Cope, T.A. [RBG 336], United Kingdom K000914427 Yes
[Ballo]., E.K. [4105], Mexico K000222225 holotype Yes
Day, C.D. [170], Turkey Taraxacum dens-leonis K000341628 No
Day, C.D. [77], Turkey Taraxacum dens-leonis K000341627 No

Accepted by

  • Aver'ianov, L.V. & al. (2006). Illyustrirovannyi opredelitel' rastenii Leningradskoi oblasti: 1-799. Nauka, Moskva.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee in Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2006). Asteraceae, part 1 Flora of North America North of Mexico 19: 1-579. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
  • GCC in GCC (2011). Global Compositae Checklist Global Compositae Checklist http://compositae.landcareresearch.co.nz/.
  • Jørgensen, P.M. & León-Yánez, S. (eds.) (1999). Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 75: i-viii, 1-1181. Missouri Botanical Garden.
  • Kirschner, J. & al. (2020). The Taraxacum Flora of Ladakh, with notes on the adjacent regions of the West Himalaya Phytotaxa 457: 1-408.
  • Mao, A.A., Sinha, B.K., Verma, D. & Sarma, N. (2016). Check-List of Flora of Meghalaya: 1-273. Meghalaya Biodiversity Board, Shillong.
  • Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.

Not accepted by

  • von Raab-Straube, E. (ed.) (2011). Compositae. Euro+Med Plantbase The Euro+Med PlantBase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/query.asp. [Cited as Taraxacum campylodes.]

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Clapham, A. R., Tutin, T. G. & Moore, D. M. (1987). Flora of the British Isles. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Mabberley, D. J. (2008). Mabberley’s Plant-book. A Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classification and Uses. 3rd Ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Mabey, R. (1996). Flora Britannica. Sinclair-Stevenson, London.
  • National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Feb 2003)
  • New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research Ltd. Taraxacum officinale. (Feb 2003).
  • Press, B. & Gibbons, B (1993). Photographic Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London.
  • Preston, C. D., Pearman, D. A. & Dines, T. D. (2002). The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • (2020). https://www.jstor.org/stable/26958715 epublication.
  • Florence, J., Waldren, S. & Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995). The flora of the Pitcairn islands: a review Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 56: 79-119.
  • Hammel, B.E., Grayum, M.H., Herrera, C. & Zamora, N. (eds.) (2020). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 4(1): 1-904. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • Kiew, R. & al. (eds.) (2021). Malayan Forest Records 49: 1-403.
  • Liogier, A.H. (1996). Flora de la Española 8: 1-588. Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo.
  • Mao, A.A., Sinha, B.K., Verma, D. & Sarma, N. (2016). Check-List of Flora of Meghalaya: 1-273. Meghalaya Biodiversity Board, Shillong.
  • St. John, H. (1988). Census of the Flora of the Gambier islands, Polynesia Pacific Plant Studies 43: 1-34.

Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

  • Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R., & Celis, M. (eds.). (2020). Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia. v1.1. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Dataset/Checklist. https://doi.org/10.15472/7avdhn
  • Diazgranados, M., Allkin, B., Black N., Cámara-Leret, R., Canteiro C., Carretero J., Eastwood R., Hargreaves S., Hudson A., Milliken W., Nesbitt, M., Ondo, I., Patmore, K., Pironon, S., Turner, R., Ulian, T. (2020). World Checklist of Useful Plant Species. Produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity.
  • FPI (2021). Food Plants International. https://fms.cmsvr.com/fmi/webd/Food_Plants_World?homeurl=https://foodplantsinternational.com/plants/
  • GBIF.org (2021). GBIF species matching tool. https://www.gbif.org/tools/species-lookup
  • GRIN (2021). Germplasm Resources Information Network from the United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.ars-grin.gov/
  • Garcia, H. (1992). Flora Medicinal de Colombia. Botánica Médica. Segunda Edición. Tercer Mundo Editores. Tomo III.
  • Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humbodlt (2014). Plantas alimenticias y medicinales nativas de Colombia. 2567 registros, aportados por: Castellanos, C. (Contacto del recurso), Valderrama, N. (Creador del recurso, Autor), Bernal, Y. (Autor), García, N. (Autor). http://i2d.humboldt.org.co/ceiba/resource.do?r=ls_colombia_magnoliophyta_2014
  • Jansen, P., Lemmens, R., Oyen, L., Siemonsma, J., Stavast, F. & Van Valkenburg, J. (1991) Plant Resources of South-East Asia. Basic list of species and commodity grouping. Final version. Pudoc, Wageningen.
  • Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) v.10 (2021); http://mpns.kew.org/
  • Willis, K.J. (ed.) (2017). State of the World’s Plants 2017. Report. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    ColPlantA 2021. Published on the Internet at http://colplanta.org
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images

  • Kew Species Profiles

    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    ColPlantA database
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Useful Plants of Boyacá Project

    ColPlantA database
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/