Information on Dandelion

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

Click for list of all flowering by month
Dandelion is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Taraxacum -  'A very difficult genus of a multitude forms, which set seed without pollinating, and never, therefore, interbreed.' An Irish Flora by D A Webb, Sc.D. 1977.

Every child knows these bright yellow perennials of the roadsides and grassy, waste places, with their wonderful heads of flowers borne, from March to October, on hollow stems full of sticky white sap. Consisting of strap-shaped florets which close over during cloudy weather and at night time, these flower heads (25-50mm across) progress to become 'Jenny Joes' or 'Dandelion Clocks' – spheres of miniature parachutes, each one attached to a little seed.  The leaves are responsible for the flower's common name – Dents de lion (lion's teeth) – as they are deeply lobed in a basal rosette.  These are native plants belonging to the family Asteraceae.    

I first identified the Dandelion in 1949 in my mother's vegetable garden in Dundrum, Co Dublin and photographed it in Gibletstown, Co Wexford in 2005. 

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

'This herb is a great cure for anyone suffering from consumption. Or if one would be "run down".  The leaves of this plant must be pulled and hung up to dry and save.  When the leaves are withered and properly saved, some of them can be put in a saucepan and boiling water poured on them and left to draws like tea.  After about it being drawing for tin minutes it is taken up and the water strained into a cup and left cool, when it is properly cooled it can be drank. The best dose of it is one cup full before breakfast every morning.' *.

Dandelion was also known as a cure for warts.  'The juiced of dandelion if rubbed to warts for nine days will destroy them'. ** 

From the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. *NFC782:343 and ** NFC782:359, both from Co Kerry.