Weeds: Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

categories: C-E Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 07:49

  • Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
  • Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Common dandelion with flowers.
Common dandelion with flowers
Photo by: J.A. Kropf


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.


Common dandelion is found in waste places, moist areas, and meadows and pastures, as well as being a lawn weed.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • 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

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing triclopyr

Turf areas

  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing MCPP
  • triclopyr

Bare ground areas

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr

Additional Images