Dandelion is a perennial plant which commonly affects vegetable and commercial crops. They are one of the most common and problematic weeds for a landowner. Dandelions will directly compete with crops for moisture and nutrients. They are considered to be one of the most aggressive broadleaf weeds to Canadian crops and may result in significant yield or quality loss at the end of the season.
The cotyledon of Taraxacum officinale is hairless and light green in color. The seedling’s leaves form a basal rosette, which is very easy to identify.
The leaves are basal shaped, stalkless and range from 7-35 cm in length. Flower stalks can vary greatly in height reaching up to 70 cm. The solitary flowers are yellow. The plant contains a white latex-like liquid when transversely cut. The seed head can be easily disrupted and the seeds have an extraordinary capacity to be dispersed by the wind, thus making the management and control of this weed more challenging.
Optimal growth conditions
The dandelions optimal conditions favour dryer, rich soils with a high salinity, particularly in conditions of close cropping or mowing. Dandelions thrive in undisturbed land and the increase in zero and minimum tillage has made this weed move up to the top of the list of problems in agriculture.