Herbs & Plants

Taraxacum tibetanum

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Botanical Name: Taraxacum tibetanum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Taraxacum tibeticum

Common Name: Tibetan dandelion

Habitat : Taraxacum tibetanum is native to E. Asia – Tibet.It grows on the alpine grasslands and pastures; 3800-5000 m. Sichuan, Xizang [India (Sikkim)].

Taraxacum tibetanum is a perennial herb, 5-15(-20) cm tall. Petiole ± green or purplish, base sparsely arachnoid; leaf blade mid-green to deep green, narrowly oblong-lanceolate in outline, 4-10(-13) × 0.8-1.2(-1.6) cm, glabrous, pinnatilobed to pinnatisect; lateral lobes 2-4 pairs, broadly triangular with base convex on distal side, approximate, ± recurved, distal margin entire, dentate, or sparsely lobulate, apex narrowed into a ± subpatent to strongly recurved lobulelike segment; interlobes short, broad; terminal lobe ± narrowly triangular-sagittate, margin entire or sparsely denticulate, apex subobtuse. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, subglabrous and only sparsely arachnoid below capitulum. Capitulum ca. 4 cm wide. Involucre 1.1-1.4 cm wide, base broadly rounded. Outer phyllaries 10-13, ± black, subimbricate, oblong-ovate (often widest above middle), outermost ones (4-)7-9 × 2.7-3.1 mm and 1/2-3/4 as long as inner ones, venation not distinct, unbordered, ± glabrous to sparsely ciliate, ± flat to minutely corniculate below apex; inner phyllaries blackish green, 13-16 × 2-2.5 mm, apex ± flat or callose. Ligules yellow, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with blackish apical teeth. Stigmas ± black. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene dark grayish brown, 4.1-4.4 × 1.1-1.4 mm; body distally subsparsely spinulose, ± smooth below, ± subabruptly narrowing into a 0.6-0.9 mm cone broadly conic at base and subconic distally, spinules small, suberect, and acute; beak ca. 6 mm. Pappus yellowish white, 7-8 mm. Fl. summer. Agamosperm.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. This species is not in the IOPI list of accepted plant names. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it has a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of stomach disorders and pain in the stomach/intestines due to intestinal worms.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Taraxacum mongolicum

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