Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Potato Dandelion - Krigia dandelion

Potato Dandelion basal leaves begin to emerge in early winter, but are most noticeable at this time of year. At a glance, the leaves resemble young Trout Lily leaves and can easily go unnoticed. It’s hard to predict where you might encounter this rare plant, except to say that it is most likely to be encountered in dry soils. There are very few known occurrences of the plant in Ohio, but it’s liable to grow in any soil type from sand to heavy clay and in sunlight conditions ranging from open field to thick woodland.
Photo taken March 17, 2010 in Adams County, Ohio.

As the season progresses, the leaves begin to elongate and develop lobes. The amount of sunlight received by the plant seems to influence the lobe development. As sunlight increases, the lobes tend to narrow and elongate.
Photo taken March 24, 2010 in Adams County, Ohio.

The mature leaves bear little resemblance to the late winter growth.
Photo taken May 5, 2009 in Adams County, Ohio.

In early May, a single flower will open at the top of a long stalk.
Photo taken May 5, 2009 in Adams County, Ohio.

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