Are Dandelions a Perennial?

poaky1October 8, 2012

I have leaves of them ( dandelions) under a shade tree and wonder if they will be going to seed or dying as fall carries on? The area is mulched. I don't want it to "go wild". Should I kill the Dandelion foliage or let it be, because it won't go to seed?

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If they are really dandelions (and there are many yellow flowered compositae which have similar blooms) they are tenaciously perennial. They also produce abundant seed throughout the year, although the main flowering flush is in the spring. To remove a dandelion you need to get out the whole tap root. If you just break it off it will resprout.

I think it might be a good idea to get the foliage id'ed on the Name That Plant Forum so you know if it really is dandelion you are dealing with. If you have not seen any flowers all year I am a bit dubious.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:12AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Guessing from your location you might have Sonchus arvensis, definitely perennial but like Flora said, should have bloomed. Maybe you have a similar-looking biennial growing basal foliage the first year. Either way, that's what they make dandelion forks for - tap roots. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy to pop them out with this tool, a great inexpensive investment. You can do it in the middle of a lawn without any visual damage.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:40AM
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I have seen them in spring yellow blooms and then white headed seed puffballs. What I am bringing it up for is that I have foliage sprouting in my flower beds that I thought were dandelions. I will try searching online to see what the dandelion foliage looks like. I always take note of the flowers, not the leaves. What I assume is Dandelions when flowerless, may be something else. Thanks for the replys.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:10AM
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After looking at dandelion foliage online, what I have is smoother leaved, instead of jagged like dandelion foliage. It has a taproot though. I'll try the fork. Maybe what I have is dock.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:17AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Got a camera?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:16PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Yes - as rhizo says, a picture would get you an id in no time, either here, or better still, on the Name That Plant Forum. Dandelion and dock are very different so we'd could tell you immediately if we could see them.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Growing now with a similar leaf is Bittercress. Actually edible. They sprout now, overwinter and bloom early in the spring. Small taproot, lots of side roots. Leaves are rounded instead of angular like Dandelion.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:24PM
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I looked online and bittercress isn't it either. I have a camera and will take some pics. The leaves are low to the ground and smooth and nearly the same appearance as a Rhodedendron, but not as thick, and wider where the leaf joins the crown. They are definately not rhodies, that is a LOOSE interpretation.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 8:06PM
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I finally took a pic and uploaded it. Here is the mystery weed. It is in juvenile form yet.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:49PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Looks like dandelion seedlings to me. You be the judge!

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here for comparison

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:22AM
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The link didn't show me an image. It said error found, but I thought from the beginning that they were dandelion seedlings. They must change when mature, with the leaves changing shape. I have smothered them with fall leaves and wood chips on top of that in most of my mulch areas under trees and areas that will soon have perennials. In the growing season I hit them with a few drops of round-up, but they aren't actively growing and may not respond to round-up. I know lots of folks don't approve of useing weed killer but I have so much area to kill weeds in that I use round-up once a week to keep ahead of the weeds, which are 90 % dandelion leaf/rosettes. There is the occasional crabgrass or purslane, but these leaves seem to come along each spring and late summer/fall. I used to like them being there when I had bunnies as pets, they loved eating them. I picked them, lots but of course not all of them. I have gotten some corn gluten for use in spring to avoid the spring flush.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:18PM
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