Taraxacum horridifrons Rail. “Prickly-leaved Dandelion”
Native. Widespread in England and Wales although more common in the west and north. Very local in Scotland with most records in the Northern Isles where it is probably adventive. Grasslands, verges, meadows, hedge-banks.
A medium sized dandelion with rather many prostrate to spreading narrowly oblong leaves. Leaves mid-green, very hairy on the upper surface, with some dark blotching at the interlobes in stressed individuals. Petioles green, winged. Leaf side-lobes 4-5, triangular with 1-2 large teeth or subdivided in young or unstressed individuals, but lacerate and cut almost to the mid-rib when stressed. Exterior bracts pale luminous grey on upper surface, broad and oblong, sigmoid in posture, reflexed in bud but becoming spreading. Amongst Alata group species with winged green petioles and oblong sigmoid bracts, this exceptionally variable species is easily diagnosed by the very hairy leaves and shining bracts.