Dandelion

Pest: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Pest Type: Perennial Broadleaf Weed

Major Identifying Features: No visible stem, hairless leaves, deeply serrated edges, cluster into a rosette at the base of the plant, milky when cut, bright yellow flower on a hollow leafless stalk

Life Cycle: Perennial, flowers nearly year-round, seeds germinate near the soil surface, light increases germination

Pest Rating: Major

Management Rating: Moderate to difficult

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Widespread in California, except in deserts, to about 11000 feet elevation, grows in mountain meadows and turf, and perennial crop fields, grows in moist areas with full sun, can penetrate soil to a depth of 10-15 feet (but most commonly 6-18 inches), grows almost year round in most of California

Damage Information: It is a host for aster yellow disease, seeds can clog cultivation equipment, major problem in turf and ornamental gardens, reduce aesthetic quality, competes out other plants, roots attract gophers

Management Options: Prevention is difficult, digging plants out, dense turf planting, shading soil surface, cover cropping, mulching, chemical control with herbicides, WARNING ON THE USE OF CHEMICALS

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu

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