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Any of the weedy perennial herbaceous plants that make up the genus Taraxacum, in the aster family, native to Eurasia but widespread in much of temperate North America. The most familiar species, T. officinale, has a rosette of leaves at the base of the plant; a deep taproot; a smooth, hollow stem; and a solitary yellow flower head composed only of ray flowers (no disk flowers). The fruit is a ball-shaped cluster of many small, tufted, one-seeded fruits. The young leaves are edible; the roots can be used as a coffee substitute.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on dandelion, visit Britannica.com.