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The dandelion is a perennial, herbaceous plant with long, lance-shaped leaves. They're so deeply toothed, they gave the plant its name in Old French: Dent-de-lion means lion's tooth in Old French. The leaves are 3 to 12" long, and 1/2 to 2-1/2" wide, always growing in a basal rosette.
Wildlife habitat yard on Belton Lake.
Each seed has a tiny parachute, to spread far and wide in the wind. Unlike most other seeds, dandelionsí can germinate without long periods of dormancy. To further increase reproductive efficiency, the plant has given up sex: The seeds can develop without cross-fertilization, so a flower can fertilize itself. This lets it foil the gardener by dispersing seeds as early as the day after the flower opens.