Plant base and hollow stem

Deeply divided leaves with irregularly toothed margins

The tips of each lobe pointing towards the leaf base

Golden yellow flower heads

Seed forming

A pappus of silky white hairs

White latex (milky fluid) when cut

Scientific Name

Taraxacum officinale

Common Names

dandelion, pissabed





Distinguishing Characteristics

This is a prostrate, perennial, short-lived, rosette-forming herb with a thick taproot. Plant contains white latex (milky fluid). 

Leaves are lance shaped, deeply divided, mid-green, slightly hairy with irregularly toothed to deeply lobed margins and an acute apex. The tips of each lobe point towards the leaf base.

Flower heads are golden yellow in which petals are in ray formation.

Fruit is an achene (dry 1-seeded) with ribs, white to cream colour and tapering. The ribs have 3-5 weak spines. Near the apex the fruit terminates at a beak bearing a pappus (appendage) of silky white hairs.

This plant is easily removed by using a knife to help lift the roots.


Other plants easily confused with this plant

May be confused with other Taraxacum and Hypochoeris species.

Sources & References

"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd

"Gardener's Companion to Weeds" by Suzanne Ermert and Leigh Clapp

"Plantnet FloraOnline"  (2005) http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by Bev Debrincat