Scorzoneroides autumnalis (L.) Moench

fall-dandelion

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Fall dandelion was introduced from Eurasia into North America in the 1800s. It is now established in eastern North America, mainly as a weed of lawns, and is sporadic across the West. There are two subspecies in New England.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray
Ray flower color
yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
40–350 mm
Disk flower number
0
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract outer side hair type
    • the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces, with curled, tangled, matted, or woolly hairs
    • the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    • the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    • the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Disk flower color
    NA
    Disk flower lobe number
    0
    Disk flower number
    0
    Disk flower proportions
    NA
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Disk flower shape
    NA
    Flower head number
    • each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    • each flowering stem has only one to three flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray
    Height of flower head base
    7–13 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    18–20
    Ovary beak
    there is no beak on the ovary
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Ray flower color
    yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    the ray flowers have both carpels and stamens
    Ray flowers
    • 16-25
    • 26-50
    Ray length
    13–16 mm
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant contain both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is a cycle of much smaller bracts outside the cycle of larger and longer bracts
    Style branch number
    there are no obvious branches on the style
    Width of flower head base
    8–10 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Ovary beak length
    0 mm
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    4–7 mm
    Seed hair tuft color
    • the pappus hairs are tan to dark brown
    • the pappus hairs are white or off-white
    Seed hair tuft details
    the pappus hairs have smaller hairs along their sides
    Seed hair tuft length
    5–8 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    the pappus hairs are slender
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of very fine hairs or bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • Glands or sap
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have no glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is milky and opaque, and may be white or colored
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a caudex (the root mass is firm and hardened at the top)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    • the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct petiole
    Leaf blade bloom
    • the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    • there is a noticeable powdery or waxy bloom on the underside of the leaf
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade length
    40–350 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade width
    5–40 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the lower leaves are larger, toothier, and/or on longer stalks than the upper leaves
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    the flowering stem has no leaves above the base
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair type
    at least some of the hairs on the stem are tangled, matted or woolly
    Stem internode hairs
    • the stem has hairs between the nodes
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. autumnalis

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. pratensis

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Hypochaeris glabra:
receptacle with chaff, and the cypselas muricate, the inner terminated by a slender beak (vs. S. autumnalis, with the receptacle without chaff, and the cypsela body rugulose, without a beak).

Synonyms

  • Apargia autumnalis (L.) Hoffmann
  • Leontodon autumnalis L.

Family

Asteraceae

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Scorzoneroides autumnalis (L.) Moench ssp. autumnalis is the more common form, known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT.S. autumnalis ssp. pratensis (Link) Holub is known from CT, MA, ME, NH.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Scorzoneroides autumnalis (L.) Moench E

fall-dandelion.  1a. Apargia autumnalis (L.) Hoffmann; Leontodon autumnalis L.;  
1b. Leontodon autumnalis L. ssp. pratensis (Link) Arcang.; L. autumnalis L. var. pratensis 
 (Link) W.D.J. Koch • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Lawns, fields, roadsides, waste areas.

1a.  Involucre tomentose-puberulent to glabrous, sometimes with a few, longer, pale to dark hairs; reproductive stems 5–60 cm tall, with (1–) 2–7 capitula 
 … 1a. S. autumnalis ssp. autumnalis

1b.  Involucre spreading-hirsute with many, long, dark hairs in addition to the underlying tomentose-puberulence; reproductive stems 5–25 cm tall, with 1–3 capitula 
 … 1b. S. autumnalis ssp. pratensis (Link) Holub

Subspecies autumnalis is the common form and is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Subspecies pratensis is known from CT, MA, ME, NH.