Common Dandelions are a widespread non-native invasive plant in Virginia. They are extremely common in parks and on suburban lawns, and almost everyone knows what they look like and can identify them. Likewise, when the yellow flowers turn to a balls of white seeds (called blowballs), children like to pick dandelions and scatter the seeds by blowing on the seed heads. The common name means "tooth of the lion", which is a reference to the jagged edge of the leaves. The Common Dandelion is native to Europe and Asia and was brought to North America as a food crop. Dandelion greens can be eaten as a leaf vegetable, and the flowers can be used to make wine. The Common Dandelion is one of many dandelion species worldwide, and taxonomists are still trying to sort out the complex relationships among them.
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