Ed Golson Outdoor Education

dandelions

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale Description: This common "weed" should be very familiar to everyone. Its leaves grow in a circular pattern and can range from 3 to 12 inches long. The leaves are a deep tooth shaped. That's how the plant got is name; dandelion in French means lion's tooth. The dandelion is well known for its bright yellow flower that grows approximately 1 inch wide. Actually, each dandelion head is a composite flower, meaning that each head is made up of hundreds of tiny individual flowers. Dandelions are hardy plants that are very tough to kill. They have a long taproot that will continue to grow even if most of the rest of the flower is pulled out. They also produce hundreds of wind blown seeds from a single plant, so they have the ability to reproduce very quickly. Habitat: The dandelion was originally found in Europe, but settlers brought them over here to add color to their gardens and to provide food for honeybees. They grow best in recently disturbed areas like gardens, and in open and sunny areas like mowed lawns. They have the ability to grow just about anywhere.

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