Taraxacum officinale

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Taraxacum officinale_table_infobox_0

Taraxacum officinaleTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_0_0_0
Scientific classification TaraxacumTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_0_1_0
Kingdom:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_2_0 PlantaeTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_2_1
Clade:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_3_0 TracheophytesTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_3_1
Clade:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_4_0 AngiospermsTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_4_1
Clade:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_5_0 EudicotsTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_5_1
Clade:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_6_0 AsteridsTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_6_1
Order:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_7_0 AsteralesTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_7_1
Family:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_8_0 AsteraceaeTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_8_1
Tribe:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_9_0 CichorieaeTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_9_1
Genus:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_10_0 TaraxacumTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_10_1
Species:Taraxacum officinale_cell_0_11_0 T. officinaleTaraxacum officinale_cell_0_11_1
Binomial nameTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_0_12_0
SynonymsTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_0_13_0

Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called "dandelion"), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae). Taraxacum officinale_sentence_0

The common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver-tufted fruits that disperse in the wind. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_1

These balls are usually called "clocks" in both British and American English. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_2

The name "blowball" has also been used. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_3

It grows in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of waterways, and other areas with moist soils. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_4

T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_5

Description Taraxacum officinale_section_0

Taraxacum officinale grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5–40 cm (2.0–15.7 in) tall, but sometimes up to 70 cm (28 in) tall. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_6

The stems can be tinted purplish, they are upright or lax, and produce flower heads that are held as tall or taller than the foliage. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_7

The foliage may be upright-growing or horizontally spreading; the leaves have petioles that are either unwinged or narrowly winged. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_8

The stems can be glabrous or sparsely covered with short hairs. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_9

Plants have milky latex and the leaves are all basal; each flowering stem lacks bracts and has one single flower head. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_10

The yellow flower heads lack receptacle bracts and all the flowers, which are called florets, are ligulate and bisexual. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_11

In many lineages, fruits are mostly produced by apomixis, notwithstanding the flowers are visited by many types of insects. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_12

The leaves are 5–45 cm (2.0–17.7 in) long and 1–10 cm (0.39–3.94 in) wide, and are oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape, with the bases gradually narrowing to the petiole. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_13

The leaf margins are typically shallowly lobed to deeply lobed and often lacerate or toothed with sharp or dull teeth. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_14

The calyculi (the cuplike bracts that hold the florets) are composed of 12 to 18 segments: each segment is reflexed and sometimes glaucous. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_15

The lanceolate shaped bractlets are in two series, with the apices acuminate in shape. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_16

The 14–25 mm (0.55–0.98 in) wide involucres are green to dark green or brownish-green, with the tips dark gray or purplish. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_17

The florets number 40 to over 100 per head, having corollas that are yellow or orange-yellow in color. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_18

The fruits, called cypselae, range in color from olive-green or olive-brown to straw-colored to grayish, they are oblanceoloid in shape and 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) long with slender beaks. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_19

The fruits have 4 to 12 ribs that have sharp edges. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_20

The silky pappi, which form the parachutes, are white to silver-white in color and around 6 mm wide. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_21

Plants typically have 24 or 40 pairs of chromosomes, while some have 16 or 32 pairs. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_22

Taxonomy Taraxacum officinale_section_1

North American dandelions Taraxacum officinale_section_2

The taxonomy of the genus Taraxacum is complicated by apomictic and polyploid lineages, and the taxonomy and nomenclatural situation of Taraxacum officinale is not yet fully resolved. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_23

The taxonomy of this genus has been complicated by the recognition of numerous species, subspecies and microspecies. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_24

For example, Rothmaler's flora of Germany recognizes roughly 70 microspecies. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_25

The plants introduced to North America are triploids that reproduce by obligate gametophytic apomixis Some authorities recognize three subspecies of Taraxacum officinale including: Taraxacum officinale_sentence_26

Taraxacum officinale_unordered_list_0

  • Taraxacum officinale ssp. ceratophorum (Ledeb.) Schinz ex Thellung which is commonly called common dandelion, fleshy dandelion, horned dandelion or rough dandelion. It is native to Canada and the western US. Some sources list it as a species, Taraxacum ceratophorum.Taraxacum officinale_item_0_0
  • Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale, which is commonly called common dandelion or wandering dandelion.Taraxacum officinale_item_0_1
  • Taraxacum officinale ssp. vulgare (Lam.) Schinz & R. Keller, which is commonly called common dandelion.Taraxacum officinale_item_0_2

Two of them have been introduced and established in Alaska and the third (ssp. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_27

ceratophorum) is native there. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_28

European dandelions Taraxacum officinale_section_3

Taraxacum officinale L. (dandelion) is a vigorous weed in Europe with diploid sexual populations in the southern regions and partially overlapping populations of diploid sexuals and triploid or tetraploid apomicts in the central and northern regions. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_29

These European dandelions can be divided into two groups. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_30

The first group reproduces sexually, as do most seed plants. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_31

This group consists of dandelions that have a diploid set of chromosomes, and are sexually self-incompatible. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_32

Sexual reproduction involves a reduction of the somatic chromosome number by meiosis followed by a restoration of the somatic chromosome number by fertilization. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_33

Diploid dandelions have eight pairs of chromosomes, and meiosis is regular with normal pairing of homologous chromosomes at the metaphase I stage of meiosis. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_34

The second group consists of polyploid (mostly triploid) apomicts, meaning that both a viable embryo as well as a functional endosperm is formed without prior fertilization. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_35

In contrast to the sexual diploids, the pairing of chromosomes at metaphase I in triploid apomicts is strongly reduced. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_36

However pairing is still sufficient to allow some recombination between homologous chromosomes. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_37

Taraxacum officinale has many English common names (some of which are no longer in use), including blowball, lion's-tooth, cankerwort, milk-witch, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest's-crown and puff-ball; other common names include, faceclock, pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, swine's snout, white endive, and wild endive. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_38

Carl Linnaeus named the species Leontodon taraxacum in 1753. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_39

The current genus name Taraxacum derives possibly from the Arabic Tharakhchakon, or from the Greek Tarraxos. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_40

The common name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, or "lion's tooth", in reference to the plant's jagged-edged leaves. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_41

Ecology Taraxacum officinale_section_4

Taraxacum officinale is native to Europe and Asia, and was originally imported to America as a food crop. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_42

It is now naturalized throughout North America, southern Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and India. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_43

It occurs in all 50 states of the US and most Canadian provinces. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_44

It is considered a noxious weed in some jurisdictions, and is considered to be a nuisance in residential and recreational lawns in North America. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_45

It is also an important weed in agriculture and causes significant economic damage because of its infestation in many crops worldwide. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_46

T. officinale can serve as an indicator plant for soil potassium and calcium, as the plant favours soils deficient in the latter but rich in the former. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_47

The dandelion is a common colonizer of disturbed habitats, both from wind blown seeds and seed germination from the seed bank. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_48

The seeds remain viable in the seed bank for many years, with one study showing germination after nine years. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_49

This species is a somewhat prolific seed producer, with 54 to 172 seeds produced per head, and a single plant can produce more than 5,000 seeds a year. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_50

It is estimated that more than 97,000,000 seeds/hectare could be produced yearly by a dense stand of dandelions. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_51

When released, the seeds can be spread by the wind up to several hundred meters from their source. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_52

The seeds are also a common contaminant in crop and forage seeds. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_53

The plants are adaptable to most soils and the seeds are not dependent on cold temperatures before they will germinate but they need to be within the top 2.5 cm (1 in) of soil. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_54

T. officinale is food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), such as the tortrix moth Celypha rufana. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_55

See also List of Lepidoptera that feed on dandelions. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_56

Even though dandelion pollen is of poor nutritional quality for honey bees, they readily consume it, and it can be an important source of nutritional diversity in heavily managed monocultures such as that of blueberries. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_57

Honey bees have not been shown to lower their pollination activity on nearby fruit crops when foraging on dandelions. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_58

While not in bloom, this species is sometimes confused with others, such as Chondrilla juncea, that have similar basal rosettes of foliage. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_59

Another plant, sometimes referred to as fall dandelion, is very similar to dandelion, but produces "yellow fields" later. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_60

Its blooms resemble some of the species of Sonchus, but are larger. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_61

Fossil record Taraxacum officinale_section_5

T. officinale has a fossil record that goes back to glacial and interglacial times in Europe. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_62

Uses Taraxacum officinale_section_6

Taraxacum officinale_table_infobox_1

Dandelion greens, rawTaraxacum officinale_table_caption_1
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_0_0
EnergyTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_1_0 188 kJ (45 kcal)Taraxacum officinale_cell_1_1_1
CarbohydratesTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_2_0 9.2 gTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_2_1
SugarsTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_3_0 0.71 gTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_3_1
Dietary fiberTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_4_0 3.5 gTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_4_1
FatTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_5_0 0.7 gTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_5_1
ProteinTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_6_0 2.7 gTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_6_1
VitaminsTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_7_0 Quantity %DVTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_7_1
Vitamin A equiv.beta-Carotenelutein zeaxanthinTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_8_0 64% 508 μg54%5854 μg13610 μgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_8_1
Thiamine (B1)Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_9_0 17% 0.19 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_9_1
Riboflavin (B2)Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_10_0 22% 0.26 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_10_1
Niacin (B3)Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_11_0 5% 0.806 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_11_1
Pantothenic acid (B5)Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_12_0 2% 0.084 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_12_1
Vitamin B6Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_13_0 19% 0.251 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_13_1
Folate (B9)Taraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_14_0 7% 27 μgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_14_1
CholineTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_15_0 7% 35.3 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_15_1
Vitamin CTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_16_0 42% 35 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_16_1
Vitamin ETaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_17_0 23% 3.44 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_17_1
Vitamin KTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_18_0 741% 778.4 μgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_18_1
MineralsTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_19_0 Quantity %DVTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_19_1
CalciumTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_20_0 19% 187 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_20_1
IronTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_21_0 24% 3.1 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_21_1
MagnesiumTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_22_0 10% 36 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_22_1
ManganeseTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_23_0 16% 0.342 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_23_1
PhosphorusTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_24_0 9% 66 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_24_1
PotassiumTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_25_0 8% 397 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_25_1
SodiumTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_26_0 5% 76 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_26_1
ZincTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_27_0 4% 0.41 mgTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_27_1
Other constituentsTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_28_0 QuantityTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_28_1
WaterTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_1_29_0 85.6 gTaraxacum officinale_cell_1_29_1

While the dandelion is considered a weed by most gardeners and especially lawn owners, the plant has several culinary uses. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_63

The specific name officinalis refers to its value as a medicinal herb, and is derived from the word opificina, later officina, meaning a workshop or pharmacy. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_64

The flowers are used to make dandelion wine, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute (when baked and ground into powder) and the plant was used by Native Americans as a food and medicine. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_65

Culinary Taraxacum officinale_section_7

Dandelions are harvested from the wild or grown on a small scale as a leaf vegetable. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_66

The leaves (called dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_67

They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_68

Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_69

Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_70

Dandelion salad is often accompanied with hard-boiled eggs. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_71

The leaves are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and iron. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_72

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_73

Most of these are more accurately described as "dandelion-flavored wine," as some other sort of fermented juice or extract serves as the main ingredient. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_74

It has also been used in a saison ale called Pissenlit (the French word for dandelion, literally meaning "wet the bed") made by Brasserie Fantôme in Belgium. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_75

Dandelion and burdock is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_76

Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_77

In Silesia and other parts of Poland and the world, dandelion flowers are used to make a honey substitute syrup with added lemon (so-called May-honey). Taraxacum officinale_sentence_78

Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_79

Diuretic Taraxacum officinale_section_8

T. officinale's diuretic properties have been well described, with the leaves of this plant having been used for this purpose in traditional Chinese medicine for approximately 2,000 years, with other regions of the world using the plant in the same way; in French, a common name for T. officinale is pissenlit, 'a colorful description of its diuretic activity.' Taraxacum officinale_sentence_80

A study conducted in 2009 noted 'promising' results regarding these diuretic properties, but that further studies would need to be conducted into the plant's efficacy. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_81

Herbal medicine Taraxacum officinale_section_9

Main article: Herbal medicine Taraxacum officinale_sentence_82

Dandelion has been used in traditional medicine in Europe, North America, and China. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_83

Other Taraxacum officinale_section_10

Yellow dye colors can be obtained from the flowers but little color can be obtained from the roots of the plant. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_84

Etymology Taraxacum officinale_section_11

Taraxacum is derived from the Arabic word tarakhshagog (or tarakhshaqūn) for a bitter herb. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_85

It may be related to the Greek word ταρασσω (tarasso) meaning to disturb. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_86

The Latin specific epithet officinale refers to the Latin word for 'medicinal' or 'of the apothecaries'. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_87

Taraxalisin Taraxacum officinale_section_12

Taraxacum officinale_table_infobox_2

TaraxalisinTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_2_0_0
IdentifiersTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_2_1_0
EC numberTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_2_2_0 ?Taraxacum officinale_cell_2_2_1
CAS numberTaraxacum officinale_header_cell_2_3_0 Taraxacum officinale_cell_2_3_1

Taraxalisin is a serine proteinase found in the latex of dandelion roots. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_88

Rudenskaya et al. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_89

(1998) found that taraxalisin hydrolyzes a chromogenic peptide substrate Glp-Ala-Ala-Leu-pNA optimally at pH 8.0. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_90

Maximal activity of the proteinase in the roots is attained in April, at the beginning of plant development after the winter period. Taraxacum officinale_sentence_91


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum officinale.