We here at The Dandelion Appreciation Society love Dandelions. We feel the Dandelion has gotten a really bad rap and has somehow become the quintessential scapegoat for all that is considered to be a "weed" in the world of the sterile toxic green lawn.
We are here to help educate to the contrary. Dandelions are one of the most beautiful and useful plants on the planet!

Botany / Taxonomy

Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae (sunflower family)
Genus: Taraxacum
Binomial Nomenclature: Taraxacum officinale
A few other common Names: Lions Tooth ("dent de lion"), Blow Ball, Priest's Crown, more to come

 General DescriptionDandelions love sun and are found in fields and lawns and are found almost everywhere in the US and Europe. The basal leaves are long, narrow and deeply toothed; the French call them “Dent de lion” or lion’s tooth, so the name Dandelion is in reference to the leaves. The flower is borne on a single hollow stalk that exudes a milky latex when broken. The flower itself is in reality is a composite of many, many tiny ray flowers. The seeds are attached to a single parachute and each seed on the ‘puff ball’ is related to one of the flowers in the composite. The taproot is long and narrow with a white or cream colored flesh.
Complete Plant
Lions Tooth Leaf
Single Flower / Single Seed

General Plant Anatomy
The following copyrighted Art Plates were done by a good friend Kay Maddox. None may be used, copied or projected without written consent from the artist.


  1. you should post.the adaptations that help it survive in its enviroment

  2. Are there any plants out there that look like Dandelions? I'm affraid of picking and eating a toxic look alike.

    1. Yes there are!
      Dandelions are Composites, one of the largest groups of flowers in the world, so there are many flowers that look like Dandelions. One plant that is flowering now that people confuse with Dandelions is Hawkweed. There is also Wild Lettuce(toxic). When young the leaves can be mistaken for Dandelion leaves.
      Probably best to get a really good field guide to key it out, or, even better, find someone who knows Dandelions well and can show you.
      It's smart to be cautious and ask questions, you definitely don't want to eat the wrong plant. Good luck!

  3. Dear Alan,

    My student, who is four years old, wants to know how do dandelions open and close without having any muscles. My student was told that dandelions close up at night and open again in the morning sun. But how do they do that?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    1. Jeff,
      Thanks for checking out the site!
      The science of flowers opening and closing and other plant movement like Photo and Helio-tropism and using Turgor pressure, is pretty complicated. It has to do with water pressure in the cells.I think all a 4 year old might need to know is that plants open their flowers at the best time for them to get fertilized. That depends on the mechanism of fertilization for that particular plant. For Dandelions, the insects that fertilize them are active in the daytime when the sun is out so the flowers open in the daytime.
      Hope this helps! good luck