False Dandelion - Spotted Cat's Ear
Hypochaeris radicata Linnaeus
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family
The plant is a perennial weed primarily of turfgrass and lawns that resembles dandelion. Found in the eastern United States as far north as New Jersey and as far west as Mississippi. It has a short rootstock with a tuber. Its preferred habitat is meadows, roadsides, lawns prairies, rocky woods and old fields. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are mostly basal; lance-like, oblong or linear. The margins are toothed or lobed. The base graduates to a narrow point (wedge-shaped). Most of the leaves are densely hairy and emit a milky sap when broken.
The flower is a single large head on a leafless stalk; bisexual in nature; symmetrical in form. Disc flowers are absent; ray flowers are numerous and yellow. Flowers occur in early spring.
Fruit is achene (a seed which outer layer is fused to it.