Scapes and leaves from the crown of a thick vertical root. Leaves: lanceolate in outline, and from irregularly dentate to runcinate-pinnatifid. Flowers: in solitary heads at the summit of the hollow scapes; rays numerous; involucre a single series of nearly equal narrow bracts, and several calyculate ones, the outer reflexed, all acute. Not indigenous.
"Common" as this Dandelion is named, and common as it is in all the mountain regions, yet it is far from being an ugly or even an uninteresting plant. On the contrary, its gorgeous golden blossoms render it extremely attractive. These blossoms consist of from one to two hundred strap-shaped rays, their blunt tips notched into five teeth, which remind us that each ray-flower was once composed of five petals. The leaves are boldly cut into jagged lobes (supposed to resemble the teeth of a lion, hence the common name Dandelion, derived from the French Dent-de-lion), and these lobes are again cut into secondary points.
As the Dandelion grows old the rays fall off, and it bends downwards until the seed matures; then, elevating its head once more, it expands into a beautiful, snow-white, airy seed-ball, whose plumes blow away at the slightest puff and float off to find a new resting-place. This is an introduced plant. ,
Taraxacum rupestre, or Alpine Dandelion, is a tiny slender plant with finely cut leaves and small flowers, which seldom grows more than four or five inches high. From the lowlands to the highest levels this "Dear common flower that grows beside the way, Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold," is to be found.