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Pale Mountain Dandelion Agoseris glauca


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Pale Mountain Dandelion
credit: John Riley

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Alternate name: Pale Goat-chicory

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Several leafless stalks, each with a yellow flower head at the top, grown from a basal rosette of linear, fleshy, bluish-green leaves. Variable appearance.
Habit: native perennial herb, subshrub, or shrub; milky sap; long, erect, hairless, hollow flower stalks; clumping; deep taproot.
Height: 8-32 in (20-80 cm).
Leaf: basal, waxy, grass-like, vertical, pale mid-vein, blue-green to dark green, to 18 in (46 cm) long, to 1 in (25 mm) wide, margins smooth (rarely toothed or lobed).
Flower: dandelion-like, solitary, 1/2-2 in (1-5 cm) wide; 15-150 yellow rays; rays in the center are very short, sometimes darker; no disk.
Fruit: dry beaked seed, 1/4-1/2 in (6-12 mm) long, tapering; held in airy white sphere, to 1 in (25 mm) wide.

Flower May to July.

Habitat Open mountain areas: coniferous forests, sagebrush.

Range Native to the northern Great Plains, from Alaska east to Ontario, south to California and Arizona mountains; east across the West to New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario.

Discussion Also known as: pale agoseris, prairie agoseris, short-beaked agoseris, false dandelion, tall false-dandelion, mountain dandelion, goat chicory. Listed as threatened in Michigan. There are six named varieties apart from the species. Several other yellow-flowered species of Agoseris, called False Dandelion or Mountain Dandelion, are distinguished from this one by technical features of the fruit. The true Dandelion (Taraxacum) is also similar, but has minute pegs all over the top of the fruit and usually has bracts curved back beneath the involucre.