Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

When Do Dandelions Bloom?

...
Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) blooms year round in areas with warm winters. Elsewhere, this edible perennial goes dormant in winter. Whether an abundance of dandelions is good or bad depends on their location and a person's perspective about the plant. Although considered a nuisance in lawns, dandelions are becoming a desirable and expensive salad green as well as a focus of research related to the tire industry.

Bloom Cycle

Dandelions don't have real stems. Their seedlings develop into a rosette of leaves on the soil's surface and produce flowers on hollow stalks. The flowers bloom about eight to 15 weeks after germination at the end of the seedling stage. Individual plants bloom continuously while active, but most profusely in May and June. A single flower produces up to 400 seeds, but averages 180. Seeds ripen from nine to 12 days after the flowers bloom. The Garden Organic website notes that about 90 percent of the seeds germinate. As to the plant's tenacious tap root, the University of California Integrated Pest Management program notes that it can grow 15 feet long, but is usually 6 to 18 inches deep.

History and Background

Immigrants on the Mayflower, brought the common dandelion to the New World in the 1600s. They valued its bright yellow blossoms, edibility and use as a folk remedy for problems including indigestion. The plant gets its name from the French phrase "dent de lion," which means "tooth of the lion" and refers to the jagged indentations of its leaves. Based on its ability to grow everywhere from the Arctic Circle to sub-Antarctica, the dandelion is one of the world's most successful flowers. Despite being maligned for blooming where homeowners and turf managers don't want it, the dandelion is also blooming commercially.

Commercial Growth

U.S. consumers bit into $2 million of fresh dandelion greens in a one-year period ending in March 2009, according to "The Wall Street Journal." Roots of the Russian dandelion (T. kok-saghyz) may become increasingly expensive as research continues on turning the plant's latex into rubber. The global tire industry is focusing on studies by Ohio State University, Canada's University of Guelph and Germany's University of Munster.

Worldwide Growth

Although they germinate best at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dandelions adapt to the chilliest of climates. On South Georgia Island -- south of Chile -- which averages about 49 degrees Fahrenheit during its warmest month of February, dandelions are a non-native species. They are spreading and can even be found growing on the grave of South Pole explorer Ernest Shackleton. While some South Georgians appreciate them as additions to salad, researchers of the British Antarctic Survey worry about them becoming invasive.

Related Articles

Flowers That Look Like Dandelions
Flowers That Look Like Dandelions
How Long Do Dandelions Take to Go to Seed?
How Long Do Dandelions Take to Go to Seed?
Characteristics of a Dandelion
Characteristics of a Dandelion
How Can I Kill Weeds in My Flower Bed Without Killing Plants?
How Can I Kill Weeds in My Flower Bed Without Killing...
Growth Stages of Papaver Somniferum
Growth Stages of Papaver Somniferum
The History of the Weed Trimmer
The History of the Weed Trimmer
Flowers That Look Like Lions
Flowers That Look Like Lions
How to Plant Coneflowers From Seed
How to Plant Coneflowers From Seed
Interesting Facts About Wildflowers
Interesting Facts About Wildflowers
How Long Does It Take for a Daisy to Grow?
How Long Does It Take for a Daisy to Grow?
Weed Killer for Dandelions That Is Safe & Won't Kill Grass
Weed Killer for Dandelions That Is Safe & Won't Kill...
Homemade Thistle Killer
Homemade Thistle Killer
When Can I Start Planting Flowers Outside?
When Can I Start Planting Flowers Outside?
Ingredients in Trimec Plus Herbicide
Ingredients in Trimec Plus Herbicide
How to Remove a Pull Rope Cover on a Bolens Model Bl160
How to Remove a Pull Rope Cover on a Bolens Model Bl160
Typical Lawn Weeds in Ohio
Typical Lawn Weeds in Ohio
Common Lawn Weeds in Maine
Common Lawn Weeds in Maine
Garden Guides
×