Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Taraxacum officinale
Wiggers, Asteraceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

English: common dandelion, dandelion, lion's-tooth

French: dent de lion, pissenlit vulgaire

Hawaiian: lauhele, laulele

Japanese: seiyo-tanpopo

Spanish: achicoria amarga, achicoria silvestre, amargón, chicoria, diente de león, lechugilla, taraxaco, taraxacon

Habit:  herb

Description:  "An almost stemless, lactiferous, deeply rooted perennial herb; taproot thick, branched, deep; stems acaulescent, 1 to 2.5 cm, internodes extremely short, at or below soil surface; leaves in radial rosettes, usually pubescent, 5 to 25 cm long, highly variable in shape from lobeless to toothed edges to highly incised; if lobed, the lobes point to the leaf base that narrows into a short, hollow petiole; every sixth leaf overlaps in the rosette; inflorescence involucrate flower head resembling a single flower, 2 to 5 cm in diameter, terminal, solitary on 5 to 45 cm long, hollow, cylindrical, unbranched, glabrous peduncle or scape, each head or capitulum a composite of 50 to 250 small bright yellow ligulate or ray florets; involucre oval-cylindrical with lanceolate, obtuse, herbaceous bracts, green to brownish, the inner ones of uniform length and 1-serrate, the outer ones unequal, one-third to one-half as long as the inner bracts and many-seriate; all bracts reflexed at maturity; receptacle convex, minutely pitted, without paleae; florets perfect, irregular, all ray florets, corolla of 5 united petals with one side prolonged, strap-shaped, golden yellow, 5-notched at the tip; anthers 5, fused into tube with sagittate base, filiform basal lobes and obtuse apex; style fuzzy beneath point of dividing into 2 stigmas; fruit a dry, indehiscent achene narrowly obovoid-oblong, 3 to 4 mm long, 1 mm wide, 5- to 8-ribbed on each side with upwardly pointed teeth at apex, light brown, apex beaked, topped by pappus; pappus composed of numerous hairs, 3 to 4 mm long, mostly white, persistent and connate at the base, forming a short ring.  The sticky, white juice throughout the plant, lobed leaves, hollow naked flower stalk, strap-shaped brilliant yellow ray flowers and white seed heads are the distinguishing characteristics of this species"  (Holm et al., 1997; p. 830).

"Leaves oblanceolate, 6-40 cm long, 0.7-15 cm wide, more or less runcinate-pinnatifid or lobed, the terminal lobe usually larger than the others, usually sparsely pubescent on lower surface and midrib, otherwise glabrous.  Scapes 5-50 cm long, glabrous or villous; involucre (1-) 1.5-2.5 cm high, the inner bracts usually 13-20, erect, eventually becoming reflexed.  Achenes pale gray or yellow at maturity, the body 3-4 mm long, the beak 2.5-4 times as long as the body" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 361).

Habitat/ecology:  "It is found from near sea level to the mountainous regions in temperate climates and in the higher elevations of tropical countries.  It is especially adapted to pastures, lawns, orchards, hay fields, roadsides and other areas of permanent vegetation with occasional disturbance.  Plants thrive in hay fields, pastures, roadsides and waste areas.  It is one of the most widely distributed weeds of Europe, North America and Asia"  (Holm et al., 1997; pp. 828, 830).

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in lawns and at higher elevations in usually wet, disturbed habitats" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 361).  In Fiji, "a lawn weed at an elevation of about 850 m (probably infrequent in or absent from warmer parts of the archipelago" (Smith, 1991; p. 268).  In Tonga, "in dooryards and about dwellings" (Yuncker, 1959; p. 170).  "In Chile this species grows in the following environmental conditions: High altitude close to the timber line; medium altitude up to the timber line; low altitude, interior valleys; coastal mountains, 500-2000 m; coastal areas, 0 - 500 m.  Somewhat dry areas where the drought may last 3-5 months. Precipitations of 400-800 mm. are concentrated in winter. Fully exposed to the sun. Level areas or slopes facing north. Some shadow. Some protection against direct sunlight, some shadow from vegetation, filtering about 20 - 40 % of light"  (Chileflora).

Propagation:  Wind-borne seed.

Native range:  Eurasia

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
Pickard, J. (1984) (p. 206)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 18)
"A common weed of lawns, grassland, roadsides etc.". Vouchers cited: A.N. Rodd 1439 (K, NSW); J. Pickard in A.N. Rodd 1335 (NSW); 1898, J.H. Maiden (NSW); 1920, J.L. Boorman (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 8)
"A common weed of lawns, grassland, roadsides etc.". Voucher cited: G. Uhe 1127 (K)
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (p. 29)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Cuevas, Jaime G./Marticorena, Alicia/Cavieres, Lohengrin A. (2004) (p. 538)
Voucher cited: CONC 158055, JF 315
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 558)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (p. 268)
Voucher cited: Greenwood 1172
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: B. Huguenin s.n. (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 26)
Voucher cited: St. John 14470 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 361)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 361)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 361)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 361)
Voucher cited: Brigham et al. s. n. (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 7)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H110128 (BISH, PTBG)
Locally common but not widespread.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 361)
Voucher cited: Forbes 1228
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Vouchers cited: Sarasin 779 (Z), MacKee 5255
Spontané
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 5138, MacKee 12188, MacKee 26657, MacKee 32927
Spontané
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Kermadec Islands introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 346)
"Waste land, tracks and roadsides, railway land, lawns, gardens, pasture, grassland, river flats".
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
invasive
Sykes, W. R. (1977) (p. 97)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (pp. 68-69)
Not common. Voucher cited: CHR 170427
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 12)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 47)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 621)
Naturalized in lawns, altitude about 1,400 m.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
St. John, H. (1987) (p. 54)
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 11024 (PAP)
Adventice
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 12)
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 270)
"Throughout Tonga".
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 270)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15412
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 270)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15205
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Costa Rica (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 359)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
El Salvador (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 359)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Guatemala (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 359)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Honduras (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 359)
China
China
China (People's Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 190)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 346)
"Waste land, tracks and roadsides, railway land, lawns, gardens, pasture, grassland, river flats".
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Belov, Michail (2013)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island uncertain if introduced
invasive
Ching-I Peng, ed. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 828)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 359)


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 8 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 8 JAN 2011.