Texas Dandelion

Scientific Name(s): Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus
Abundance: common
What: root, young leaves
How: root as tea, coffee; leaves as bitter greens
Where: fields, disturbed areas, roadsides
When: spring
Nutritional Value: minerals, vitamins C & A
Dangers: don't mistake for Common Groundsel

Open flower and never-opened flower buds.
False Dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus)

Open flower and previously-opened flower.
False Dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus)

Close-up of flower. Note the dark stamens.
False Dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus)

Backside of flowers. Note the tan sepals.
False Dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus)

Base rosette and stem. Note the base leaves lack deep serrations.
False Dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus) – Version 2

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
FalseDandelionTX

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
FalseDandelionNA

As more and more people move into Texas from lesser desirable states the fields of our yellow Texas Dandelion leads to confusion in late spring and early summer. The flower looks like a true dandelion, except for the dabs of brown on the stamens. Closer observation shows multiple flowers and leaves growing off the thick, green stem that grows up to nearly three feet tall. The leaves lack the sharp spearpoint and backwards pointing pointy lobes. These signs should indicate you don't have a true dandelion. But that's okay! You can use the Texas Dandelion the same as true dandelions.

The flowers of Texas Dandelion make an okay tea, perhaps not quite as rich in flavor as true dandelions. Remember to remove the green "collar" from the flower just as you must with true dandelions. You can also make jelly from these flowers which actually tastes pretty dang good.

The leaves of Texas Dandelion are used in the same manner as true dandelion leaves but unfortunately they aren't quite as nutritious. Texas Dandelion roots can be dried for tea or roasted for a coffee-substitute. The bitter flavor of the roots are becoming popular with high-end bartenders making their own concoctions where these roots replace traditional bitters.

Edible Dandelion Mimics:
Dandelion
Cat's Ear
Chicory
Japanese Hawkweed
Salsify
Sow Thistle
Texas Dandelion
Wild Lettuce

Privacy Statement

I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit this website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.