Taraxacum (/təˈræksəkʊm/) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as dandelions. The genus is native to Eurasia and North America, but the two most commonplace species worldwide, T. officinale (the common dandelion) and T. erythrospermum (the red-seeded dandelion), were introduced from Europe and now propagate as wildflowers. Both species are edible in their entirety. The common name dandelion (/ˈdændɪlaɪ.ən/ DAN-di-ly-ən, from French dent-de-lion, meaning ‘lion’s tooth’) is also given to specific members of the genus.
Like other members of the family Asteraceae, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. In part due to their abundance, along with being a generalist species, dandelions are one of the most vital early spring nectar sources for a wide host of pollinators. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant.