DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Seed head of Taraxacum officinale, popularly known as Dandelion, a herbaceous perennial belonging to the family of Asters (Asteraceae) that is native to the temperate zones of Eurasia as well as the North and South Americas. It is a wild plant that prospers in lush places, whether in yards, abandoned fields or the roadside. Its flower heads are yellow to orange coloured, open in the daytime but closed at night. When flowering is finished, the dandelion flower head dries out within a few days. The dried petals and stamens then drop off, the bracts curve backwards, and the seed head opens into a full sphere, from which the white seeds readily fall off or blow away in the wind.
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