9 Dandelion Varieties and 4 Look Like Dandelion
Dandelions seem to be a case of one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. While some people see the dandelion as a weed and want to rid their property of this plant, other people find the dandelion to be a beautiful sunny flower or an edible resource.
However, few people realize that Dandelions can be found all over the world and there are over 250 varieties of this plant.
We will discuss the different types of dandelions and even some other flowers that closely resemble this sunny flower.
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9 Different Types of Dandelions (Varieties)
It would be impossible to cover every type of dandelion in existence so we are going to describe some of the different varieties of dandelion.
#1. Common Dandelion
When most people in the United States think of the dandelion, it is the Common Dandelion that comes to mind. This plant grows in sunny areas and blooms from April to September.
This dandelion grows close to the ground and has oval shaped brown seeds. The head of this plant is a bright sunshine yellow and the leaves are wide and jagged in appearance. All parts of the common dandelion can be sourced for food (with the exception of the seeds.)
The leaves make a tasty green and are often combined with other greens such as mustard greens. The heads are used to make tea and the roots can be dried and used as a coffee substitute.
#2. Red Seed Dandelion
The main difference between the Red Seed Dandelion and the Common Dandelion is the shape of the leaves and the color of the seeds.
This plant will grow in both sunny and shaded areas and in several different types of environments. The leaves of this plant have slender tips and between 2 and 10 inches long.
Like the common dandelion, the red seed dandelion has edible leaves and the heads can be used to make tea, while roots can be used as a coffee substitute.
#3. California Dandelion
The California Dandelion is considered an endangered species of dandelion that is native to the Northern part of the United States. These plants will grow year round in California, but blooms mainly in May to August.
These dandelions have green red veined or yellow flower heads and sword shaped leaves. You can make a tea or coffee substitute from this plant.
#4. Yellow Desert Dandelion
The Yellow Desert Dandelion grows throughout the deserts and arid areas of the Pacific Northwest.
This plant grows between 4 and 14 inches tall with 3 to 5 inch leaves. The head of this plant is a bright yellow with a deep red center.
This dandelion blooms mainly from March throughout June and in years where the desert gets a fair amount of rain this plant forms a colorful carpet across areas of the desert floor.
#5. Horned Dandelion
Native to Canada and the Western United States, the Horned Dandelion is also sometimes called the Alpine Dandelion since it grows in Mountainous regions.
The head of this plant is yellow and the leaves are wide and toothy with rounded tips. This plant can be made into tea and coffee substitute.
#6. Korean Dandelion
The Korean Dandelion is native to Korea, China and Japan and grows between March and May. This plant has a bright yellow head and toothy leaves that can be up to 1 inch wide. This plant is considered to be edible.
#7. Russian Dandelion
The Russian Dandelion also has the nickname of the Rubber boot. This plant grows well in full sunlight and partial shade and the leaves are very similar to the common dandelion. This dandelion blooms in May and June.
#8. Taraxacum Albidum (White Dandelion)
This Dandelion also called White Dandelion is native to Eastern Eurasia and South Japan. This plant has white flowers and long deeply loped leaves. It blooms between March and May and can be used as a tea and coffee substitute.
#9. Pink Dandelion
The pink dandelion resembles the common dandelion with the exception that this dandelion has a pastel pink head with a yellow center.
This plant is native to Central Asia and has all of the edible properties of the common dandelion.
Other Flowers that Look Like Dandelion – Look Alike Flowers
With so many different varieties of dandelions to choose from it is hard to sometimes tell whether a plant you are sourcing for food or medicinal purposes is a dandelion or a dandelion look alike.
To help you, here are some plants that look like dandelions.
Coltsfoot is a member of the daisy family and does resemble a dandelion and grows anywhere from 3 to 18 inches high.
This plant has a golden yellow center disc with ray like flowers on the outside. The leaves of this plant are noticeably different than that of the dandelion.
This plant blooms in early spring and continues to bloom throughout the summer. Coltsfoot grows near brooks or in ditches.
#2. Smooth Hawksbeard
A member of the Aster family, the Smooth Hawksbeard grows mainly in the Southern and Western United States. These flowers grow in a multi-stemmed clump and have sunshine yellow flowers.
The Smooth Hawksbeard naturally grows in pastures and hay fields. These flowers bloom from spring to late fall.
#3. Annual Southistle
Annual Southistle is considered to a be weed that tends to grow in the Western United State. This plant resembles a dandelion with golden flowers that grow in clusters around a main stem.
This weed is taller than a dandelion, reaching 4 feet tall. It also tends to flower later in the summer than most dandelions.
The Hawkbit is a short grassland perennial plant with hairy stems and a dark golden head with reddish or orange outer florets.
Although this plant resembles a dandelion the stalks of this plant tend to be small and thinner than the common dandelion. This plant blooms from May to October and the leaves are long.
Final Thoughts on the Different Types of Dandelions and Look Alike Flowers
If you are sourcing dandelions for their edible or medicinal properties it is nice to know that none of the other plants that look like dandelions are toxic so they won’t be dangerous if you make a mistake.