Information on Turlough Dandelion

Common Name: Turlough Dandelion
Scientific Name: Taraxacum palustre
Irish Name: Caisearbhán
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Turlough Dandelion could sometimes be confused with:

Dandelion,

This is a very distinctive Dandelion which grows in the sandy, limestone mud around the turloughs in the Burren National Park, flowering roughly from April to June. As soon as you see it, you know it is different from others by its beetrooty-red stems which spread out low to the ground at first, lifting towards their ends. The narrow leaves are untoothed, with only a barely detectable scallop along their edge. It bears bright yellow flowers which are 2-3cm across and the ray florets are somewhat spindly and spiky. Apart from a few parts of the midlands and near L. Mask in Co Mayo, this species is not thought to grow elsewhere in Ireland. A member of the Asteraceae family, it is also known as Marsh Dandelion and Fen Dandelion.  

I found this Turlough Dandelion in May 2015 on the shores of Loch Gealain in the Burren when I also photographed it. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Dandelion, Turlough
Dandelion, Turlough

The Dandelion genus is a difficult one and consists of many, many forms. Dandelions never hybridise as they set seed without pollination therefore retaining their own distinctive features. In Professor Clive Stace’s New Flora of the British Isles (3rd edition) one can read that ‘234 microspecies are currently recognised in the British Isles’. So, not an easy task. I am thrilled to be able to identify this, the Turlough Dandelion, but for me it was not difficult as the red stems, narrow leaves and habitat made it a distinct probability which was subsequently confirmed by consulting various flora, in particular my old friend, ‘An Irish Flora’ by David Webb.