This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial herbs, with tufted basal leaves, the large many-flowered heads at the ends of simple or branched scapes. Flowers orange or yellow. Bracts of the involucre 9-18, reflexed in fruit, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, not keeled. Pappus of 10-15 small scales and as many long bristles or more. [Mythological name.]
Four species, natives of North America. Type species: Cynthia virginica (L.) D. Don. Caulescent, branched above.
1. C. virginica.
2. C. Dandelion.
Tragopogon virginicum L. Sp. Pl. 789. 1753.
Adopogon virginicum Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 304. 1891.
Cynthia falcata Standley, Contr. Nat. Herb. 13: 356. 1911.
Perennial, glabrous and glaucous; stem 1°-21/2° high, 1-leaved and branched above, bearing 1-6 long-peduncled heads at its summit and usually 1 oblong, entire or toothed clasping leaf below the middle. Basal leaves tufted, runcinate, sinuate, denticulate, or entire, 2r-7' long, narrowed into margined petioles, heads about 1 1/2' broad; involucre of 9-15 lanceolate nerveless bracts, 3"-4" long, reflexed in fruit; achenes nearly oblong; pappus of 10-15 small oblong scales and an equal or greater number of capillary bristles; flowers orange to reddish orange.
Tragopogon Dandelion L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, I I I I. 1763.
Krigia Dandelion Nutt. Gen. 2: 127. 1818.
Cynthia Dandelion DC. Prodr. 7: 89. 1838.
Adopogon Dandelion Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 304. 1891.
Perennial, acaulescent, glabrous and somewhat glaucous; scape 6-18' high, slender leafless, with a single head. Stolons filiform, bearing globose tubers; leaves all basal, tufted, linear-lanceolate to spatulate, entire, denticulate, sinuate, or pinnatifid, narrowed at the base, 3'-6' long, 2"-5" wide; head about 1' broad; involucre nearly ¥ high; pappus similar to that of the preceding species.
In moist soil, Maryland to Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. April-June.