En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - December 16, 2008

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of dandelion-like weed in Utah
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the over-sized dandelion looking weed in utah that you can blow the seeds just like a dandelion?

ANSWER:

There are several species of native flowers with the common name of dandelions that occur in Utah:

Taraxacum lyratum (harp dandelion)

Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)

Glyptopleura setulosa (holy dandelion)

Malacothrix glabrata (smooth desertdandelion)

Malacothrix sonchoides (sowthistle desertdandelion)

Malacothrix stebbinsii (Stebbins' desertdandelion) and photos

Malacothrix torreyii (Torrey's desertdandelion) and photos

Nothocalais troximoides (sagebrush false dandelion)

There is also one non-native species with the common name of dandelion found in Utah:

Taraxacum laevigatum (rock dandelion)

There are also non-native species that aren't called "dandelions" that are found in Utah and resemble your description:

Tragopogon dubius (yellow salsify)

Tragopogon lamottei (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon)

There are also more than a few species of yellow dandelion-like flowers that have seedheads resembling dandelion puffs (e.g., Agoseris glauca (pale agoseris), Agoseris heterophylla (annual agoseris), and Arnica chamissonis ssp. foliosa (Chamisso arnica)).

You can see other similar native yellow dandelion-like flowers in the Family Asteraceae (Aster Family) by going to our Native Plant Database and selecting "Asteraceae (Aster Family)" from the "Family" list.  Then, when you have brought up the list of more than 1000 speciesin that family, use the "Narrow Your Search" option and choose 'Utah' from the "Select State or Province" option, 'Herb' from the "Habit (general appearance)" option and 'yellow' under the "Bloom characteristics: Color" option.

This is about the best we can do for you without a photo to help us identify your plant.  If you do have photos, please send them to us and we'll do our best to identify your dandelion.  Photos of the flower, the seed head and the foliage are all important for identifying a plant.  Visit our Ask Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos.


Taraxacum lyratum

Taraxacum officinale

Glyptopleura setulosa

Malacothrix glabrata

Malacothrix sonchoides

Agoseris glauca

Agoseris heterophylla

Arnica chamissonis ssp. foliosa

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Dodder, rootless, leafless, parisitic twining plants
May 29, 2006 - Hello, I have been studying wildflowers in California for many years. Yesterday I came across a surprise and I am thus far unable to identify it. As it is raining today, I cannot get a photo, but I...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Honolulu HI
April 24, 2014 - We have a ground cover in our Honolulu garden that I have been told is Watermelon Plant. (Not the fruit). We would like more, but cannot find it or the proper name for it. Aprox. 6" round leaf. It...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
June 19, 2010 - Hi there. I have a plant in my garden I'm trying to identify. It started out looking like a cabbage but now is huge, It has a large stalk going up the middle with purple bell looking flowers coming...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub looking like honeysuckle in Odessa TX
October 02, 2011 - Bought a shrub in Pecos, TX yesterday. It looks like honeysuckle but the brightest flat orange I have ever seen. Flower and greenery looked like honeysuckle but when I looked on the Internet under or...
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple flower with flowers similar to witch hazel
August 16, 2012 - Found along woods roads. Purple flower about 1 - 2 ft. in height. Central stem rises from a ground level leaf whorl of five leaves from 4 to 7 inches long and 2 to 3 inches at their widest point. C...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center