West Highland Flora


Taraxacum agg

Taxonomic note: Dandelions are apomictic with hundreds of microspecies.  Originally I divided the genus into four sections (each containing a large number of microspecies) based on those in Clapham Tutin and Warburg 1962.  But these seem to have been largely abandoned and the BSBI only accepts records of named microspecies or of the genus as a whole (as Taraxacum agg), with nothing in between.  Apart from a handful of experts therefore, everyone (including myself) records all dandelions as Taraxacum agg.

Taraxacum officinale

Photo Carl Farmer
30 Sep 2001 Portree, Skye

Very common in grassland, waste ground, lawns, road verges, moorland etc, including both dry and damp habitats.

Flowerhead diameter c 3-6 cm

ID: Flowerheads on leafless hairless unbranched hollow stalks arising from the centre of a basal rosette of leaves.

Milky juice in flower-stalk rules out all Hawkbits, Catsears, Hawkweeds and Hawksbeards.

Other features: Flowers Mar-Oct and sporadically through the winter.  Leaves hairless or nearly so, often with large angular lobes.  Flower-stalk and leaf midrib often reddish.  Forms "clock" in fruit.  Often has outer involucral bracts recurved.


  Taraxacum officinale

Photo Carl Farmer
22 Sep 2002 Portree, Skye

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