Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of ethereal plant in Colorado
August 28, 2010 - We live in the south central mountains of Colorado in the upper Arkansas River valley near Salida, Colorado. During the past few weeks we have noticed a very mystic looking plant (flower/grass?) alon...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 12, 2008 - I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
view the full question and answer

Native North American bulbs
August 19, 2011 - I saw your list of 4 lilies native to the Northeastern United States, which was very helpful. What other bulbs are native to North America? Although I garden in Connecticut, I am interested in learn...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant in wildflower show
May 29, 2011 - Was in Julian California yesterday for a wild flower display. Had a bad stomach ache as I was walking around looking at the flowers. Saw this one. About 6 inches tall. Instead of leaves, it had wh...
view the full question and answer

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