General to the Rockies.
Flower-heads: roundish, of innumerable strap-shaped flowers. Involucre: closing after blooming until the fluffy ball is ready to mature and be blown away by the wind, when it opens, turns downward, and bears up the pappus. Leaves: at the base; much cut. Stem: hollow. Juice: milky.
There seems to be something pathetic about the dandelion as it grows old. Gradually it is deprived of its golden rays and upon its stalk is left a little cloud of gossamer. It is then whorled aloft and away, torn and scattered upon thorny bushes and dashed into angry streams by pitiless winds. Or the children blow it to tell what o'clock it is. There are usually four good blows in a ball of down and this fact has won for it the name of "four o'clock," each blow signifying an hour. The plants are eaten as a pot herb, and their medicinal properties are generally known and appreciated.
Or little dandelion, as it is sometimes called, extends its bloom throughout the summer and autumn. On a nearer acquaintance we find it has rather different habits from our early dandelion but is very much like the hawkweeds. Its Greek name refers to the medicinal properties of the root.