COMMON DANDELION, Taraxacum officinale Weber. 1, plant in flower; 2, single ray flower; 3, seed. Perennial, reproducing by seed. Root thick, fleshy, often with branches. New sprouts can come from roots or root segments. Stem never elongates but produces a rosette of leaves. Leaves simple, variously lobed, 3 to 10 inches (7.5 to 25 cm) long, containing a milky juice, arising from a crown at or slightly below the surface of the ground. Flower heads 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter, of yellow ray flowers, borne on a long, bare, hollow stalk. Seed tannish, about 3/16 inch (4.5 mm) long, elongated, with a slender tip bearing a tuft of hairs that are easily broken off. One variety has reddish-brown seeds. Found in lawns, meadows, gardens, and waste places.