Photo courtesy of Dr. Roger Banner, USU Extension
Yellow-flowered False Dandelion
Growth Characteristics: A nearly hairless, taprooted perennial with milky juice. In areas with long growing seasons, plants may be 30 inches tall. Flowers from May to June, seeds ripen from June to August.
Flowers: Yellow flower heads are 1-2 inches wide and solitary atop the long stalk (called a scape).
Fruits/Seeds: The beaked seeds have white bristles about ½ inch long.
Leaves: long, strap-like, vertical, frequently red/purple or with a red/purple mid-vein. All basal and range in length from ¼ to nearly as long as the flowering stalk, 2-14 inches long. Leaves are rather waxy, bluish-green to dark green, and up to an inch wide, with smooth or irregularly-toothed margins.
Found on foothills, and in the montane, subalpine and alpine zone. It is common in meadows. It is not tolerant of shade.
Soils: Prefers a sandy or gravelly loam, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
The solidified sap (latex) of the stem is chewed as gum. An infusion of the entire plant is used as a wash for sores and rashes. The milky latex is applied to warts in order to remove them. A poultice made from the latex is applied to sores.
An infusion of the root is used as a laxative