Common dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

''Taraxacum officinale'', the common dandelion, is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae. 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.
Common Dandelion, Heesch, Netherlands Our backyard lawn is currently full of dandelions. Early in the season, it's good practice to let them be for a while as they are a reliable source of nectar for many species of bee at a time when few other flowers are blooming. 

This is a 70 image stack at 2.5 x macro. It turned out more interesting than I expected. The individual seeds with plume attached are too big for extreme macro, so instead I plucked a few to make a small opening to the core of the flower, where you can see how the seeds attach. They have an interesting hooked appearance, supposedly to make them attach to wherever they land after wind transported them. The same is true for the plumes, they too have a hooked appearance:
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/93274/common_dandelion_-_plume_heesch_netherlands.html Common dandelion,Extreme Macro,Taraxacum officinale,WeMacro

Appearance

''Taraxacum officinale'' grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5 to 40 cm tall but sometimes up to 70 cm tall. 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. The foliage is upright growing or horizontally orientated, with leaves having narrowly winged petioles or being unwinged. The stems can be glabrous or are sparsely covered with short hairs. Plants have milky sap and the leaves are all basal, each flowering stem lacks bracts and has one single flower head. The yellow flower heads lack receptacle bracts and all the flowers, which are called florets, are ligulate and bisexual. The fruits are mostly produced by apomixis.

The 5–45 cm long and 1–10 cm wide leaves are oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape with the bases gradually narrowing to the petiole. The leaf margins are typically shallowly lobed to deeply lobed and often lacerate or toothed with sharp or dull teeth.

The calyculi are composed of 12 to 18 segments: each segment is reflexed and sometimes glaucous. The lanceolate shaped bractlets are in 2 series with the apices acuminate in shape. The 14 to 25 mm wide involucres are green to dark green or brownish green with the tips dark gray or purplish. The florets number 40 to over 100 per head, having corollas that are yellow or orange-yellow in color.

The fruits, which are called cypselae, range in color from olive-green or olive-brown to straw-colored to grayish, they are oblanceoloid in shape and 2 to 3 mm long with slender beaks. The fruits have 4 to 12 ribs that have sharp edges. The silky pappi, which form the parachutes, are white to silver-white in color and around 6 mm wide. Plants typically have 24 or 40 pairs of chromosomes but some plants have 16 or 32 chromosomes.
Dandelion posterior perspective Taraxacum officinale is a European species that is naturalized here in Australia. So much focus on the front of the flower, thought I'd go for a different perspective. 
 Asteraceae,Asterales,Australia,Common dandelion,Flora,Geotagged,Taraxacum officinale,botany,dandelion,macro,new south wales,spring

Distribution

''Taraxacum officinale'' is native to Eurasia, and now is naturalized throughout North America, southern Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and India. It occurs in all 50 states of the USA and most Canadian provinces.
Un-"Commonly" Presented Dandelion Dandelions don't normally catch my eye but while photographing wild flowers at sunset I looked around a bit closer to where I was laying in the field and could not help but snap the sun setting through this "seed head". Common dandelion,Sunset,Taraxacum officinale

Habitat

The dandelion is a common colonizer of disturbed habitats, both from wind blown seeds and seed germination from the seed bank. The seeds remain viable in the seed bank for many years, with one study showing germination after nine years. 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. It is estimated that more than 97,000,000 seeds/hectare could be produced yearly by a dense stand of dandelions. When released, the seeds can be spread by the wind up to several hundred meters from their source. The seeds are also a common contaminant in crop and forage seeds. 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 centimeters of soil.

While not in bloom, this species is sometimes confused with others, such as ''Chondrilla juncea'', that have similar basal rosettes of foliage. Another plant, sometimes referred to as Fall Dandelion, is very similar to dandelion, but produces "yellow fields" later.
Taraxacum officinale Widely naturalised in southern and eastern Australia, where it is regarded as an environmental weed. Despite this, I do like to allow their growth as they provide food for moths, butterflies, bees and birds.  Asterales,Australia,Common dandelion,Dandelion,Fall,Geotagged,Macro,Taraxacum officinale,botany,flora,flower,plant,yellow,yellow flowers

Defense

Dandelion has been linked to outbreaks of stringhalt in horses.
Dandelion bilobed anthers Dandelions have bilobed anthers. What most people call a dandelion flower is actually a many flowered head, the common feature of plants within family Asteraceae. The yellow features we see as petals are called ligules. 

Taraxacum officinale is a European species that is naturalized here in Australia. 

 Asteraceae,Asterales,Australia,Common dandelion,Fall,Flora,Geotagged,Taraxacum officinale,anthers,autumn,botany,dandelion,macro,new south wales,yellow flower

Uses

While the dandelion is considered a weed by many gardeners and lawn owners, the plant has several culinary and medicinal uses. 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. The flowers are used to make dandelion wine, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute and the plant was used by Native Americans as a food and medicine.

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