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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

Dandelion, Kazak dandelion, TKS, rubber root

Latin Name:Taraxacum kok-saghyz

Plant Family: Asteraceae

Close Relatives: Common dandelion

Uses and Markets: The root of the Russian dandelion is a source of a high quality latex, used in making rubber, that is comparable to the latex produced by the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree.  In the 1930’s, Russia produced ~30% of their domestic rubber from 67,000 hectares of this plant.  The roots are harvested prior to the first fall frost, and can be stored fresh or dried for longer term storage prior to latex extraction.  Dandelion roots also contain substantial amounts of the starch inulin, which can be fermented to produce fuel ethanol.

Potted Russian dandelion plantField of transplanted Russian dandelionTransplanted Russian dandelion plantsRussian dandelion rootsLatex exudate from Russian dandelion rootsRubber strands between two pieces of rootDried Russian dandelion root


Production Life Cycle in Ontario

Perennial, but typically grown as an annual.

Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Russian dandelion is less hardy than the common North American dandelion, and little information is available on its cultivation.

Propagation method

Direct seed onto the surface of moist soil.  Plants will also regenerate from mature root pieces, particularly the upper, thicker portions of the root.  Root pieces should be planted vertically in loose soil, with the large end pointing upwards, at a depth of 10 cm.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

April/May or September/October.

Field Transplanting Dates


In-Row Spacing
45 cm

Between row spacing

50 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting

5°C to 10°C


No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions.   Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Sandy loam soils.

Soil pH

No information available.

Special requirements for growth habit

Taraxacum kok-saghyz seed/plants do not establish well in the field under hot/dry conditions.

Optimal Temperature Range

18-24 °C

Temperature sensitivity

Moderately frost tolerant.

Irrigation requirements

New plants: Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.  Established plants:  Irrigation beneficial under unusually dry conditions.

Days to harvest

150 days when grown as an annual.

Specialized equipment

May require modification to digging equipment.

Harvest Scheduling

Single harvest

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Machine harvest

Quality parameters/grades:

No established grades.

Additional Harvest Notes

Roots can be harvested from cultivated fields using digging equipment (i.e. carrot digger), that can go to a depth of at least 25 cm.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Harvested roots can be processed fresh or dried (at <40 °C to a moisture content of 30%) for storage prior to processing for latex.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): No information available.

Temperature: No information available.

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: No information available.

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates:
Mealybugs (greenhouse propagation)


Other: Rodents

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Grubs



*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


There is little available information on pests of Russian dandelion. Insects and diseases that attack the common dandelion may also attack this species.  Russian dandelion is resistant to tomato wilt virus, but can serve as a host for this disease. To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: n/a - significant damage not observed to date.  For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section. There are few to no pest control products registered on this crop in Ontario. For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Mealybugs on Russian dandelion
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile

  1. Van Acker, R., R. Grohs, R. Riddle and J. Todd.  2010-2012.  Growing Russian Dandelion as an Alternative Source of Natural Latex at the University of Guelph Simcoe research station (unpublished data)
  1. Whaley, W.G. and .S. Bowen. 1947. Russian dandelion (kok-saghyz).  An emergency source of natural rubber.  United States Department of Agriculture