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Potato Dandelion, Potato Dwarfdandelion, Colonial Dwarf-dandelion - Krigia dandelion


Family: Asteraceae - Aster family Genus Common Name: Dwarf Dandelion Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Krigia dandelion - Potato Dandelion, Potato Dwarfdandelion, Colonial Dwarf-dandelion. Plants in the Krigia genus are also known as Dwarf Dandelion (or Dwarfdandelion) because of the obvious similarity of their flower to the common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinal.) There are 7 Krigia species, all native only to North America. Krigia dandelion grows in similar locations to Taraxacum officinal - woodlands, roadsides, lawns, disturbed areas, and waste areas, forming stoloniferous colonies. These photos are from a yard that I have selectively mowed, avoiding mowing native wildflowers until they have gone to seed.

Found in:
AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA

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Krigia dandelion

Distribution of Krigia dandelion in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 17 Oct 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-April-22Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The flower of Potato Dandelion is up to 2 inches across. It is yellow or orangish-yellow, and has many ligulate (strap-like) ray florets with no disk florets.
Krigia dandelion

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-April-22Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The flower is held singly on usually smooth, leafless, bractless scape that may be up to 18 inches tall. There may be some small glands on the scape, especially at the base of the flower.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Krigia dandelion

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-April-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Click on the photo for a larger image
Krigia dandelion

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-April-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Krigia dandelion are all basal. They are usually smooth (occasionally “sparingly villous”) and may be entire, slightly toothed (as obvious here), or pinnately lobed - I believe that leave at the very bottom shows some lobes. If petioled, the petioles are usually winged.
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Krigia dandelion

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-May-08Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The pappi of Krigia dandelion have a somewhat tannish hue, giving them a more "dirty" look than you see in the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale.)
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Krigia dandelion

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-May-08Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The cypsela of Krigia dandelion is a reddish-brown color and has 10 to 15 ribs.
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Krigia dandelion

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2014-April-23Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Krigia dandelion gets its “Potato Dandelion” moniker due to the edible tubers formed along the stolons. The tuber in this example is about .5” in diameter. New plants also grow from the stolon. Note that Flora of North America calls these rhizomes while Weakley calls them stolons. Frankly, I don’t know the difference between a stolon and a horizontal rhizome.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Krigia dandelion

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer