Taraxacum nitidum Hagend., Soest & Zevenb. “Shining Dandelion”
Probably native. England and Wales, north to Teeside and Carlisle, but concentrated in the Severn and Dee catchments. Meadows, often damp, verges and other grasslands, marshy ground, gardens, usually on heavy soil. This is a subatlantic-Channel species, unknown in Scandinavia.
A medium-sized dandelion with suberect leaves of a deep shining green, reddish mid-ribs and heavy interlobe blotching. Petioles red, winged. Leaves narrowly oblong, leaf side-lobes 4-5, heavily dentate with large triangular teeth, sometimes sublacerate. Leaf end-lobes short, obtuse, sometimes subdivided and usually constricted laterally. Exterior bracts spreading-recurved, grey-pruinose and often becoming suffused purple, 3.5 mm wide. Capitulum 40-50 mm diameter when expanded, the ligules striped grey-violet, styles often appearing yellow when fresh, but drying somewhat discoloured. With its red mid-rib, very dentate and blotched leaves, T. nitidum is only like to be confused with T. multicolorans, or perhaps stressed early-season T. polyodon. It is not always easily distinguished from T. multicolorans, but has darker, more shiny leaves, more purple bracts, yellower styles and a subtly different leaf-shape with coarser teeth more on the lobes and less on the interlobes.