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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale Weber,

Other Names: pissenlit, dent-de-lion, pissenlit officinal

Family: Composite or Aster Family (Compositae) 

General Description: Perennial, reproducing only by seed.

Habitat: Dandelion occurs throughout Ontario in virtually every kind of habitat, from openings in deep woods to cultivated fields, from rocky hillsides to fertile gardens, and lawns.


No stem


  • Leaves in a basal rosette on a thick, deeply penetrating taproot
  • Elongated
  • Deeply and irregularly lobed along each side or sometimes just shallowly toothed
  • The amount and shape of lobing or toothing being extremely variable from one plant to another


  • Heads showy
  • Bright yellow
  • 3.2- 5 cm (1¼- 2 in.) across
  • Borne singly on long, smooth, leafless, unbranched, hollow stalks which arise from among the rosette leaves
  • Only ray (strap-shaped) florets present
  • Outer row of involucral bracts short and spreading or bent down
  • Seed heads white, more or less spherical, 3.5- 5 cm (1½- 2 in.) across
  • Seeds:
    • Long
    • Slender with a slender beak tipped with a tuft of white hair (pappus or "parachute")
  • Whole plant with sticky white juice
  • Flowers from early spring to late autumn

Often Confused With
Sow Thistle
Chicory (Chicory leaves are not always opposite and they point forward or backward. They have more prominent, coarse hair on the basal leaves)

Dandelion Dandelion Dandelion seedling Dandelion
Click to enlarge.