WSU Extension

Hortsense

Weeds : Dandelion : Taraxacum officinale
(revision date: 6/9/2016)

Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Cycle: Perennial
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Biology
The common dandelion is a persistent taprooted plant reproducing by seeds and by short shoots from the crown. It also grows back from roots broken during hand removal. Plants consist of a rosette of deeply lobed or toothed basal leaves and upright, leafless flower stalks. The leaves are variable in size, ranging from two to twelve inches long. The teeth or lobes are typically opposite each other and point back toward the base of the leaf. The unbranched flower stalks are hollow and the juice of the entire plant is milky. Flower heads are broad and yellow, maturing into a distinctive white "puffball" of windblown seeds. The root is deep and rather fleshy, often reaching several feet into the soil. Plant size is variable. Common dandelion can reach up to two feet if uncut, or can remain low-growing in mowed lawns. SPECIAL INFORMATION: Dandelion is edible and can serve as good forage for livestock.
Habitat
Common dandelion is found in waste places, moist areas, and meadows and pastures, as well as being a lawn weed.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label directions. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • dichlobenil
Turf areas
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing MCPP
  • triclopyr
  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
Bare ground areas
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr
Images
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Caption: Common dandelion with flowers
Photo by: J.A. Kropf
Caption: Dandelion (left) vs catsear (right) leaves
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Dandelion (left) vs catsear (right) flowers
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Common dandelion growing through weed barrier
Photo by: J.A. Kropf
Caption: Common dandelion flower and seed heads
Photo by: D.G. Swan
Caption: Common dandelion in lawn
Photo by: R. Parker