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  Common dandelion  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
Common dandelion Taraxacum officinale

The common dandelion is a perennial herb which has jagged, lobed leaves in a rosette at its base. Its hollow stem contains a milky sap. The five-parted, yellow flowers are borne in heads. The fruit is a dry, hard, winged seed. Flowers develop into fluffy, white, seed heads, each on a long stalk. Seeds may be brown or green.

The common dandelion may be found throughout Illinois. It grows in field edges, roadsides and lawns. Flowers are produced from March through November. Insects are the main agent of pollination. The flowers and leaves of this plant may be eaten by white-tailed deer. The common dandelion is a native of Europe and Asia that was transported to the United States with early settlers and has spread tremendously.

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