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Genus Taraxacum Family Asteraceae

Description: Perennial or biennial herbs with a taproot; hairs non-glandular, usually cobwebby or glabrous.

Leaves basal, runcinate-pinnatifid to ± entire.

Heads solitary; involucral bracts 2-seriate; outer bracts short, recurved to spreading; inner bracts longer, erect, margins scarious, reflexed in fruit; receptacle slightly convex, naked, pitted. Florets all ligulate, bisexual, fertile; ligules truncate-elliptic, 5-toothed apically. Anthers tailed at base, apical appendage triangular. Style branches filiform, apices pubescent.

Achenes slightly compressed, ± fusiform, ribbed, with narrow pyramidal apex prolonged into a beak, cone and beak rarely absent; pappus of barbellate bristles, in many rows, fused at base.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 60–150 species groups, mostly northern temperate zone, also South America & Australia. All States except Northern Territory.

Taxonomy of introduced apomictic Taraxacum in Australia is not well understood. The name Taraxacum officinale F.H.Wigg. has been applied (in the sense of a species aggregate) to these taxa, but defined taxonomic limits and appropriate nomenclature is lacking for Australian plants. Victorian plants are discussed in detail by N.H.Scarlett, Flora of Victoria. Volume 4: 688-694 (1999). It is expected that NSW will have similar taxa as decribed by N.H. Scarlett.

Text by L. Murray; updated April 2014
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Taraxacum officinale

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