Dormancy

    Dandelion

    Taraxacum officinale

    Dandelion

    Dandelion growth habit (Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    Dandelion

    Dandelion leaves (Lynn Sosnoskie, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)

    Dandelion

    Dandelion seeds (Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org)

     

    Description

    • low-growing plant with deep taproot
    • leaves are long (2 – 12 inches) and a quarter as wide and radiate away from a central point; leaf margins are lobed and wavy
    • flower stalks are hollow and bear a flower head with yellow petals; flowers mature to produce a delicate, globe-shaped seed head comprised of many seeds
    • each brown, oblong seed is attached to a tuft of white fluff

    Location

    • commonly grows in lawn areas and planting beds

    Life Cycle

    • perennial with seedling germination throughout growing season
    • flower production begins in mid-spring and continues throughout the growing season, although peak flowering occurs at temperatures between 60-70°F
    • seed heads develop within 2 weeks of flowering and seeds are immediately viable
    • new plants grow from taproot sections as short as 1 inch

    IPM Recommendations

    • Effective control must target both aboveground and underground plant structures.
    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation and manually remove underground structures to prevent re-sprouting.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.