Thursday, May 6, 2010

Virginia Dwarfdandelion (Krigia virginica)

When I started this project to document all of the wildflowers that I encountered at home, the dandelion-like flowers drove me crazy. A Dandelion is not Krigia dandelion; it’s Taraxacum officinale. The Krigia species are dwarf dandelions. So I spent hours researching photos on various plant identification websites, searching Google Images. I think I’ve finally gotten Krigia virginica – the Virginia Dwarfdandelion - sorted out although I’m still a student, not an expert.

Last year the field was covered with this wildflower. This year, not so much. Probably because we had a colder and longer winter than in previous years.

These are not flowers that impress from a distance. They are small –1/2- to 3/4-inches in diameter.

The characteristic leaf shape is a clue to their identity. The first leaves – in the cold weather – have a grayish color. Later in the season the leaves are green.

The flowers range from yellow to a rich golden color.

The intact seed head. It is quite distinct and you can recognize this plant from a distance.

The seeds have started to blow from this seed head. The seeds are exquisite. Note the four wings on each seed.

Krigia virginica
is native to the United States. In Canada, it occurs in Quebec and British Columbia. It grows in the eastern United States from New England to Florida, west to Texas and north to Wisconsin.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Krigia virginica (Virginia Dwarfdandelion)

Identification resources:
- Southeastern Flora: Virginia Dwarfdandelion (Krigia virginica)

Related posts:
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower

- Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

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