Mystery plant 001

Here’s the first “mystery plant” for you to identify.  A common plant throughout the U.S., see if you can identify it before you get to the last photo.


Stems and leaves


Closed flower head


Seed head


Seed head





Enter a comment below with the common and scientific names for this plant.  Also, feel free to share with us any other information about, or personal connection you have with, this plant.


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images):  Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

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6 Responses to Mystery plant 001

  1. Denise MacMillan says:

    I had to look up the scientific name for the Dandelion. Taraxacum Officinale !
    An edible herb.

  2. Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

    I have enjoyed dandelions since childhood. Memories of lying on my belly in the morning sunshine….itchy grass…making wishes and blowing the seed head to send the wishes to the fairies. As an adult, I experimented with making dandelion wine….can’t say that it was my favorite wine, but I felt good about the process.

    I have also enjoyed early spring dandelion greens in my salad….

    Thanks for posting so many pictures of dandelion in various stages of life.

  3. JoJo says:

    I like dandelions!! especially the little seeds that travel with the wind, like a wayward paratrooper…..

  4. Marnie Graham says:

    I knew it was a dandelion from the first picture, so often I’ve tried to eradicate these from taking over my lawn, flowerbeds, and garden. I’ve tried vinegar, a special garden tool and I’ve even placed holes all over my yard by trying to cut them out with a long knife…still they persist and will even begin to flower low to the ground to prevent being chopped by a lawn mower. I loved them as a child, but must confess when I see one go to seed now or a child blowing one in the wind, I cringe first and then smile. Glad to see others can still delight in them! (smile)

  5. Angelyn says:

    You got it! Denise, you are correct that dandelion is an edible herb — all its parts are edible and/or used for medicinal purposes.

    Claire, JoJo and Marnie, thanks for sharing your memories and perspectives of this loved and hated plant.

  6. That’s a very dangerous plant: I was arrested and handcuffed by undercover agents for eating a leaf of a dandelion in Central Park in 1986, and charged with criminal mischief for “removing vegetation from the park.” Fortunately, the press ate up the story, forcing the NYC Parks Dept. to drop the charges and hire me to lead foraging tours throughout NYC, a position I held onto until the administration changed in 1990, after which I resumed freelance work. To learn more about identifying wild edible plants, check out my app, WildEdibles,

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