Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Plant identification
April 05, 2009 - Today I was at Woodlawn Gardens, home of Nelly Custis, granddaughter to George Washington. There was a flowering plant there that had green (yes green) bell shaped flowers and very dark green leaves....
view the full question and answer

ID for two flowers blooming in November in Buda TX
November 29, 2015 - two different plants growing in my wild area. 1. springs of tiny yellow flowers atop almost foot tall woody stem. 2. Clump of tiny near white bud like flowers. clump about 6 to 8 inches across on ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with crimson tubular flowers
June 06, 2013 - I saw this lovely flower in a field in Cleveland Tx. It was growing in a patch with maybe 4 or 5 other of the same yet only in that area. The flower is crimson red, long and tubular that grow on a woo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
July 27, 2009 - My wife and I have our first summer garden at our new home in the Panhandle of Texas. Included within our crop are several alien large, broad stalk, broad leaved plants with an extremely pungent, offe...
view the full question and answer

Native sedges for Texas
March 07, 2007 - What can you tell me about Texas Blue Sedge? What its true name and culture requirements?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.