Using Dandelions in the Lab


Popping up in every school carpark and playing field, the adaptations that make dandelions ubiquitous also make them a valuable resource for the science lab.


Teaching Topics

  • Plant Responses
  • Gravitropism
  • Measuring distribution
  • Sampling
  • Abundance

Image resources


Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, also known as the ‘clock plant’ due to the arrangement of coma hairs at the top of each seed – an adaptation for wind-dispersal

Dandelion has a complex, yellow flower and is widely distributed. It belongs to one of the largest families of flowering plants – Asteraceae.

Growing and sourcing

Obtaining: Common in school grounds and playing fields. No cost, but you will need to advise school ground staff not to cut when the flower heads are produced. Check no weed-killers are being applied. A useful resource for the distribution activity is the FSC foldout guide Playing Field Plants

Note: Warning: sap can irritate skin.

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