April 9th, 2010
Texas Dandelion

photo: Texas Dandelion
2010-04-09. First flower, Texas dandelion. This is the first time it’s bloomed in 4 years. With all the rain this winter it is bigger and better than ever.

Dateline: 2006

You’ll think me a poor gardener when I admit that I didn’t even recognize a dandelion.

photo: Texas Dandelion

The other morning this bright spot of yellow caught my eye and I acquainted myself with this graceful, yellow flower. Consulting Marshall Enquist’s Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country, I find that it is Texas dandelion, Pyrrhopappus multicaulis, also known as manystem false dandelion.

As Karel Capek says in The Gardener’s Year, “A flower without a name is a weed, a flower with a Latin name is somehow raised to a state of dignity. If a nettle grows on your bed, label it “Urtica dioica” and you will respect it.”

photo: Texas Dandelion

The leaves do look like a dandelion’s, but it has a multiple stems almost 18 inches tall.

photo: Texas Dandelion

One source said that it is distinguished from the common by the having leaves along the stems. The dark anthers also sets it apart.

Two different sources say that it is a cool-weather annual. I’m glad it chose this week of record highs to bloom. I don’t care if it is a dandelion, or merely a false one, I think it’s lovely.

photo: Texas Dandelion
2010-04-22. Texas dandelion going to seed

by M Sinclair Stevens

14 Responses to post “Texas Dandelion”

  1. From Pam Penick(Austin):

    I wouldn’t have known it was a dandelion either. It’s very pretty. What does the foliage look like?

    Pam, I’ve taken some more photos so that you can see the foliage and the overall look of the Dandelion. — mss

  2. From jenn (Michigan):

    Looks like the chicory annual (Cichorium intybus) we get up here.

  3. From Judith:

    It is a very pretty flower. It has a delicate wildflower-look to it. Nice color, too. I could live with that dandelion. Yesterday I drove by a lawn that was absolutely covered in dandelions, the kind that crouch down to the grass & take over. I could barely see the green lawn, there were so many dandelions, it was quite remarkable. Time to make dandelion wine?

  4. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    I like the Texas dandelion. It seems quite respectable with its Latin name and all.

  5. From Annie in Austin:

    Yay – your site is back up, MSS.
    Maybe I’ve seen that light yellow Texas Dandelion somewhere… but the few dandelions that turn up in this yard look just like the ground hugging, bright yellow ones in IL.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. From Rachel from Austin:

    I used to see those in Corpus Christi all the time when I was growing up. I like them because they smell very sweet. I’ve been seeing them this year and wondering what they were – thanks for clearing up the mystery for me.

  7. From Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings:

    We have those here in the fields outside my property where they’ve been grazed and cultivated. It’s a pretty little thing isn’t it? So glad to hear you’re having such beautiful weather. If anyone deserved it, it’s y’all.~~Dee

  8. From Linda Lehmusvirta Austin:

    Thanks for the ID on this one! It is lovely. I’ll have to check on some of mine with similar flowers & foliage. Maybe I won’t give them to the bunnies to eat.

  9. From M2:

    No bluebonnets up here, but scads of lovely dandelions. I took a picture of the dogs in a field of dandelions near our house.

    The dogs have that put upon look they always have when being told to sit still in a field.

  10. From Jenny Austin:

    I love the Texas dandelion. Hate the English one. Funny. Texans probably hate theirs and love the English one.

  11. From Diana - Austin:

    I always get a different perspective on dandelions because my daughter loves them and is a staunch defender any time I complain about them. She says they are wildflowers, too.

  12. From Marilyn Kircus, Dripping Springs, TX:

    I love the English dandelions as well as the Texas dandelion. But even more amazing was seeing beetles grazing like cows on one bloom.
    Here is the link to the picture.

  13. From kate Regina Canada:

    If the dandelions here were the colour of the Texas dandelions, I would love them even more than I do. K. Capek was right ~ a Latin name elevates the lowly weed.

    Your meadow looks so beautiful. What a difference rain makes. I expected to see more damage from the cold you had in January. I’m glad that more plants weren’t hit.

  14. From Emmett:

    I have some of these growing in my yard. They were not there last year. I think they are beautiful. I also have taken a lot of photos of them.