The Common Dandelion (often simply called “dandelion”), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant in the same large family as daisies and sunflowers. It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. It is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted seeds that disperse in the wind. These balls are called “blowballs“.
The dandelion is a common colonizer of disturbed habitats, with seeds remaining viable for up to nine years. This species is a somewhat prolific seed producer, with 54 to 172 seeds produced per head, a single plant can produce more than 5,000 seeds a year.
It is estimated that nearly 100,000,000 seeds/hectare could be produced yearly by a dense stand of dandelions.
While the Common Dandelion was introduced to North America by European settlers in the 17th century as a food crop, some species of dandelion are native to Canada!