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Asteraceae / Cichorioideae
The Chicory or Dandelion Subfamily of the Aster Family


Key Words: Dandelion-like flowers.

      The Chicory subfamily includes a variety of plants with dandelion-like flowers. The ray flowers typically overlap all the way to the center. The petals have strap-like, parallel edges with squared-off ends. The stems and leaves of all species have milky juice, and all are edible, but bitter. Bitter substances like dandelion greens are helpful as an appetizer to stimulate digestive secretions before the main meal. Eating your dandelions can help reduce problems with indigestion later. Keep in mind that there are many other plants with milky juice that are not related to dandelions, including some that are poisonous. Be sure to check the blossoms for proof.

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Taraxacum officinale. Common Dandelion.

Taraxacum officinale. Common Dandelion. There are several species of native dandelions in North America, but the common dandelion found in most lawns is an import from Eurasia. I really like to eat dandelion greens and roots. For more information go to harvesting and eating dandelions.

Hypochaeris glabra. Smooth Cat's Ear.

Hypochaeris glabra. Smooth Cat's Ear.

Sonchus arvensis. Field Sowthistle.

Sonchus arvensis. Field Sowthistle.

Sonchus arvensis. Field Sowthistle.

Sonchus arvensis. Field Sowthistle.

Sonchus oleraceus. Common Sowthistle.

Sonchus oleraceus. Common Sowthistle.

Sonchus oleraceus. Common Sowthistle.

Sonchus oleraceus. Common Sowthistle.

Hieracium aurantiacum. Orange Hawkweed.

Hieracium aurantiacum. Orange Hawkweed.

Hieracium aurantiacum. Orange Hawkweed.

Hieracium aurantiacum. Orange Hawkweed.

Hieracium albiflorum. White-flowered Hawkweed.

Hieracium albiflorum. White-flowered Hawkweed.

Hieracium albiflorum. White-flowered Hawkweed.

Hieracium albiflorum. White-flowered Hawkweed.

Cichorium intybus. Common Chicory.

Cichorium intybus. Common Chicory.

Cichorium intybus. Common Chicory.

Cichorium intybus. Common Chicory. Introduced.

Crepis intermedia. Limestone Hawksbeard.

Crepis intermedia. Limestone Hawksbeard.

Foraging the Mountain West
Foraging the Mountain West
Tragopogon sp. Salsify.

Tragopogon sp. Salsify. This plant is also known as "oyster plant" because the first-year roots have a taste that resembles oysters. This is a biennial plant that grows a root and basal leaves the first year, then sends up the flower stalk the second year and dies after setting seed.

Tragopogon sp. Salsify.

Tragopogon sp. Salsify seedhead.

Agoseris aurantiaca. Mountain Dandelion.

Agoseris aurantiaca. Mountain Dandelion.

Agoseris sp. False Dandelion.

Agoseris sp. False Dandelion.

-Also see these additional members of the Chicory Subfamily-

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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Botany in a Day
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Books
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Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe Blossoming of Human Spirit
Roadmap
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Living
Homes
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
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