Common dandelion is a USA-NPN calibration plant species. Calibration species have broad distributions and are ecologically or economically important. The NPN integrates observations on calibration species to get "the big picture" of plant responses to climate across the nation. In addition, this species is an allergen. Observations on its phenology will provide valuable information to benefit people with allergies and the public health community.
In addition, common dandelion has been selected for monitoring by our partner Monarch Watch because it is an important nectar plant for monarch butterflies. If you are a member of Monarch Watch, please see the monitoring instructions on the Monitoring Partners page. Also, watch for the symbols indicating the partner monitoring details in the "Which phenophases should I observe" section, below.
Common dandelion is a perennial, herbaceous plant forming a tight rosette growing to 1 to 2.5 feet tall. Its very tiny, yellow flowers cluster tightly into a flowerhead and appear as a single flower. Each tiny flower contains both male and female parts.
Common dandelion is widely distributed and very common, growing in sunny locations, even at high elevations. It tolerates a wide range of site and soil conditions, typically in more moderately moist locations. It is common on lawns, disturbed sites, meadows, rangelands, damp low places, streamsides, and travel corridors.
You should observe...
Here are the phenophases you should observe about this plant.
New growth of the plant is visible, either from above-ground buds with green tips, or new green or white shoots breaking through the soil surface. Growth is considered "initial" on each bud or shoot until the first leaf has fully unfolded.
In at least one location on the plant, a fully unfolded leaf is visible. For seedlings, consider only true leaves and do not count the cotyledons (one or two small, round leaves) that are found on the stem almost immediately after the seedling emerges.
One or more fresh flowers or flower heads (inflorescences) are visible on the plant. Flower heads include many small flowers that usually do not open all at once. Do not include wilted or dried flowers that remain on the plant, or heads whose flowers have all wilted or dried.
One or more open fresh flowers are visible on the plant. Flowers are considered "open" when the reproductive parts (male stamens or female pistils) are visible between unfolded or open flower parts. Do not include wilted or dried flowers that remain on the plant.
One or more fresh fruits are visible on the plant.
One or more ripe fruits are visible on the plant.
|Recent fruit drop
One or more fresh mature fruits or seeds have dropped or been removed from the plant since your last visit. Do not include obviously immature fruits that have dropped before ripening, such as in a heavy rain or wind.
If drought seems to be the cause of leaf senescence for a plant, please make a comment about it for that observation.
The common name "dandelion" comes from dent de lion, French for "lion's tooth," which refers to the teeth on the leaves. The tender young leaves, rich in vitamins and minerals, are used in salads or cooked greens. The delicate yellow flowers can be added to fritters and pancakes, and made into wine and rustic beers. In addition, the leaves are used medicinally; teas made from the leaves are mildly laxative and diuretic, and are also used as a digestive aid.
Gardens with this plant