Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Taraxacum officinale
Common Dandelion
Asteraceae (Aster Family)

A common and easily recognizeable weed, growing to a height of 5 - 50 cm.

Common Dandelion Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 5 - 40 cm long, lanceolate, broadest near tip, with jagged, backward-pointing teeth. Flowers: 2 - 3.8 cm wide, with short outer bracts, longer inner bracts, curling back when fruits mature; ray type. Fruit: seed-like, gray or olive brown, 4.5 mm long, upper portion is rough, and tipped by a stalk, bearing, white, feathery bristles at the end. Stem: hollow, milky.


Originally from Europe; widespread throughout Eurasia North America; on lawns, pastures, roadsides and fields.


The popular name "Dandelion" comes from dent de lion, French for "lion's tooth," referring to the toothed leaves which can be made into coffee and wine, and eaten as a salad. To make dandelion coffee, roast the roots for four hours or until dark brown and cracking. Then grind them and prepare as you would regular coffee.

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