Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called “dandelion”), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae).
It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is often used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind.
Taraxacum officinale is native to Europe and Asia, and was originally imported to America as a food crop.
T. officinale has a fossil record that goes back to glacial and interglacial times in Europe.