Dandelion Botanical illustration - Taraxacum officionale

Maree Clarkson

Ballito, South Africa

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Dandelion Botanical illustration – Taraxacum officionale

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called “dandelion”), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae.

It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind called “blowballs” or “clocks” (in both British and American English).

During summer, when the Dandelions are in full flower, I mostly halt mowing the lawn, enjoying the spectacle of yellow flowers and then the beautiful blow-balls. And, like a child, I often pick them and blow them into the wind, revelling in the little umbrellas as they take off to start a new generation of Dandelions.

Dandelions are a Eurasian species now entrenched almost world-wide because of their excellent seed dispersal mechanism and ease of germination. Their crowded head of ray flowers produces numerous seeds, their low, wide basal leaves crowd-out competing plants, and thus the plant is often found in huge colonies.


16th June 2017 – FEATURED in “The Best of Anything & Everything”
22nd June 2017 – FEATURED in “Everyday Women”
6th July 2017 – FEATURED in “Image Writing”

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