At the top of the root, at ground level is a rosette of deeply notched leaves, which do a good job of shading or choking out other plants, such as grass. Rising from the center of the plant are one or more hollow stalks, each supporting a blossom. This blossom is really a tight cluster of many flowers. Each bright yellow petal is actually a complete flower in itself, able to form a seed.
A few weeks after blooming, each little floret sends up a white, threadlike, silky stalk. These form the familiar puff-balls so easily dispersed by the wind. At the bottom of each fluffy stalk is a dandelion seed. It has tiny barbs, or hooks, that help it get a firm hold wherever it happens to land.
The dandelion has a long and interesting history as a medicinal plant and as foodstuff. Its young sprouts have been valued as a pot-herb, its fresh leaves enjoyed as a salad, and its dried roots used as a substitute for coffee in various countries and ages.