Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Taraxacum japonicum

I got an email from Owen, the botanist, the other day in reply to my query about whether the dandelions i collected in Japan were native or not... i expected they were, but wanted some kind of confirmation too.

This is his reply:

Hi Becs

Here are my thoughts on the Japanese dandelion pictures. None of them seem to have the reflexed outer involucral bracts that one would associate with the introduced Taraxacum officinale, so my belief is that all the images you've sent to me are of native dandelion species. You've obviously got an eye for them.

Image08 (pictured here) - The horned ("corniculate") involucral bracts suggest T. japonicum, which is said to occur from Kinki district (i.e including Kyoto) westwards.

Image29 - hairy stem and short-horned bracts suggest T. variabile

The others are hard to classify because the salient features are not photographed, but the Kyoto plants may include T. pectinatum

Most of the other possibilities seem to have heads that are too far across (5cm).
It's hard to be sure about all this but at least these are plausible.

Loads of love


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