• Dandelion, Grand dandelion and Silverpuffs

    by  • June 12, 2011 • California native plants, Plant Profiles

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    These three plants, well, you’ll notice a few similarities and a few differences. Two are California natives and one is new to me, and if you keep track of this blog, you know that I love finding new plants here on our place.

    Dandelions

    Dandelion flower

    Common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale flower

    Everyone knows this one, ,…edible, annoying in lawns, tolerable to most.
    Dandelions in the Sierra Foothills garden….edible?

    Photo: Wikipedia, If this is your garden, you need to start eating these.

    If this is your property, you need to start eating these.               Photo: Wikipedia

     

    Grand Mountain Dandelion

    Grand Mountain Dandelion has a miniscule flower

    Grand Mountain Dandelion has a miniscule flower

    Grand Mountain Dandelion, Agoseris grandiflora, is a pretty dandelion-type plant and exceptional as well, for it is endemic (limited) to California and on the “rare, threatened, or endangered in CA and elsewhere” list kept by the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants.

    Grand Mountain Dandelion has a very long bud

    Grand Mountain Dandelion has a very long bud

    Also called California Dandelion, it is a perennial and found in abundance right here on the property here.  It has a stunning puffy white seed head, a bit larger than the size of a golf ball, which develops in early June on a 12 to 18″ stem. You can tell which variety this is by the very long, almost 2 inch long seed head, blooming now in June.

    Grand Mountain Dandelion

    Grand Mountain Dandelion in the sky  CLICK to enlarge

     

    Grand Dandelion seed head

    Grand Dandelion seed head. I like the way the lower petals look.     CLICK to enlarge

     

    The Grand Mountain Dandelion seedheads is how to can distinguish them from the ordinary.

    The Grand Mountain Dandelion seedheads is how to can distinguish them from the ordinary.

     

    Grand Mountain Dandelion Do you see the Fibonacci number sequence? hahaha

    Grand Mountain Dandelion Do you see the Fibonacci number sequence? hahaha     CLICK to enlarge

    The leaves are different from common dandelions. Instead of the familiar wide, paper-thin green leaves, laying flat to the ground like a common dandelion has, the Grand Mountain Dandelion leaves are upright,  thin, sword shaped with jagged edges.

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs

    Lindley's Silverpuffs, Uropappus lindleyi

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs, Uropappus lindleyi

    Have you heard of this? At first I mistook this California native for the Grand Mountain dandelion, as I looked at the seed head, which is a puffball of about the same size. The leaves of Lindley’s Silverpuffs, Uropappus lindleyi are similar, upright, sword shaped and jagged, and the seedling may look the same but the leaves become a very dense and thick clump, instead of remaining sparse like the Grand Mountain. The yellow flowers grow a foot tall on long straight stems. Instead of thread-thin bits of fluff for seed heads, Blow wives have a spherical  cluster  of  flowers, a bit like rice paper, best described as shiny white scales.

    Lindley's Silverpuffs seed heads

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs , papery seed heads

    Some plant websites say this has a nondescript or nearly invisible, but perhaps it blooms for such a short time it is rarely seen. I kept an eye on this rather large plant, obviously happy in its spot, and watched for flowers to bloom. Here they are.

    Lindley's Silverpuffs, flowers

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs, flowers

     

    Lindley's Silverpuffs, seed heads

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs, seed heads

    ***

     Seedlings
    Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which of these when they’re in the seedling stage. Here are all three

    Common dandelion Taraxacum officinale seedling

    Common dandelion Taraxacum officinale seedling

    Common Dandelion

    Grand Mountain Dandelion Agoseris grandiflora seedling

    Grand Mountain Dandelion Agoseris grandiflora seedling

    Grand Mountain Dandelion

    Lindley's Silverpuffs, seedling

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs, seedling

    Lindley’s Silverpuffs,

    Fly away, Dandelion seed, away from my garden

    Fly away, Dandelion seed, away from my garden

    I would like to hear from any of you, if you have the Grand Mountain Dandelion?  I just found out the correct name of the Silverpuffs, originally thinking they were Blow wives, a similar plant. See the next post, Not Blow wives, Silverpuffs

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    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.