Oki Dandelion

This endemic species can be found on all four of the inhabited Oki Islands. It is a perennial plant (living more than two years) that grows along the coasts and in inhabited areas. The flower head (a dense cluster of small flowers that look like a single flower) is 4–5 cm in diameter, formed of 90–160 yellow ray-shaped flowers (cylindrical at the bottom, extending into a tongue-like shape at the top).
The Oki Islands are home not only to the endemic Oki dandelion, but also to invasive species including the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and the rock dandelion (Taraxacum laevigatum). A difference that helps identify these species is the direction of the outer bracts (the part that holds the flower together): the bracts of the Oki dandelion point upward, while the bracts of the invasive dandelions point downward. Endemic and invasive dandelions are often found growing in the same environment, such as parks, thickets, and riversides. Not only do the species compete for their habitat, but hybrid species have also been found.

  • Scientific Name

    Taraxacum maruyamanum

  • Classification

    Family Asteraceae

  • Distribution

    Oki Islands (Dōzen and Dōgo)

  • Flowering Season