Wikijunior:Summer Flowers of Northern New England/Taraxacum officinale

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Common Dandelion
(Taraxacum officinale)
Flower
Seed head
Description:
The Common Dandelion is one of the most easily recognizable flowers in the United States. But be careful! There are a lot of other flowers that look like the Common Dandelion, but aren't. To be sure, check the stem and make sure it's both round and hollow. There should be only one flower on each stem. When you break the stem, a milky sap should ooze out. Then check the leaves. They should not be hairy, but they should have jagged edges shaped like a lion's teeth. In fact, that's what the word dandelion means - tooth of the lion.

It is fun to pick a ripe seed head and blow all the seeds off the stem. You can also tie the stems of the flowers together to form a chain.

Quick Facts:
You can eat Dandelions! Many people put the young leaves in their salads (old leaves are bitter), and some people even dry the roots and use them as a coffee substitute. Look, Ma! No caffeine!

Flower and leaves