Taraxacum kok-saghyz

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Taraxacum kok-saghyz

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Common names

Chinese (China): 橡胶草 xiang jiao caoA; English: Russian dandelionB


Herbs 4–15 cm tall. Petiole pale green, winged; leaf blade light glaucous grayish green with a light green to rarely pinkish midvein, narrowly oblanceolate to broadly oblanceolate, 3– 7(–10) × 1.2–3 cm, ± fleshy, very sparsely arachnoid to glabrous, undivided, margin remotely denticulate to regularly pinnatilobed to pinnatifid; lateral lobes 2 or 3(–5) pairs, broadly triangular, patent to subrecurved, proximal margin ± straight and entire, distal margin convex and entire, apex obtuse to subacute; interlobes not spotted, broad, margin entire; terminal lobe usually triangular, margin entire, apex subobtuse. Scapes light green or pinkish, ± overtopping leaves, arachnoid. Capitulum 2–3 cm wide. Involucre 5–8 mm wide, base obconic-rounded. Outer phyllaries 8–13, light green sometimes distally suffused purplish, not imbricate, linear-lanceolate to narrowly ovate, outermost ones 5.5–7 × (1–)1.2–2.2(–2.5) mm and 1/2–4/5 as long as inner ones but sometimes equaling them, loosely appressed to erect, border whitish light green or ± membranous and 0.1–0.3 mm wide, margin sparsely ciliate to glabrous, apex with a 2.5–4 mm horn of perpendicular to erect position; inner phyllaries 8–12 mm, apex with a thin 1–2 mm horn. Ligules light yellow; outer ligules flat, outside not striped or faintly striped purplish; inner ligules with yellow teeth at apex. Stigmas pure yellow. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains regular in size. Achene light grayish straw-colored brown, 2.8–3.8 × 0.7– 0.9 mm; body ± densely spinulose above, subgradually narrowing into a subcylindric (0.5–)0.7–1 mm cone, spinules usually irregularly bent upward and not squamulose; beak 3–4.5 mm. Pappus ± white, 3.5–4.5 mm. Fl. late spring and early summer. Sexual. 2n = 16.

from: Ge X., Kirschner J. & Štepánek J. in Wu Z. Y. & al. (ed.), Flora of China 20–21: 312–313. 2011, Beijing & St Louis.


Asia-Temperate: Kazakhstan nativeC; Kirgizistan nativeD; Xinjiang nativeC Europe: Austria introducedE; Czechoslovakia introducedE (Slovakia introduced: adventitious (casual)F); Germany introducedE; Hungary introducedE; Krym introducedE; Northwest European Russia introducedG; Poland introduced: presence questionableH; Romania introducedE,I; Ukraine (Ukraine introducedJ)


Taraxacum kok-saghyz is a source of natural rubber and was as such cultivated and commercially used as an alternative to the Hevea brasiliensis rubber in the 1930s to 1950s in the former Sowjetunion and N China, and in parts of Europe and the USA until 1945. Kirschner & al. (2013) discovered that most ex situ germplasm collections of T. kok-saghyz actually contained the morphologically similar, apomictic, poor rubber producer T. brevicorniculatum.B,K,L


A. Wu & al., Flora of China 20-21. 2011
B. Beilen J. B. van & Poirier Y., Guayule and Russian Dandelion as alternative sources of natural rubber. in Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 27: 734-743. 2007
C. Wu & al., Flora of China 20-21. 2011 (as Taraxacum koksaghyz)
D. Lazkov G. A. & Sultanova B. A., Kadastr flory Kyrgyzstana: sosudistye rasteniya / Checklist of vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan. – Norrlinia 24. 2011
E. Tutin T. G, Heywood V. H., Burges N. A. & al., Flora europaea 4. 1976
F. Marhold, K. & Hindák, F., Zoznam nižších a vyšších rastlín Slovenska. 1998
G. Fedorov, A. A., Flora evropejskoj časti SSSR 8 [Cvelev, N. N.]. 1989
H. Mirek, Z., Piękoś-Mirkova, H., Zając, A. & Zając, M., Flowering plants and pteridophytes of Poland. A Checklist. in Biodivers. Poland 1. 2002
I. Săvulescu, T., Flora Republicii Populare Romîne 10. 1965
J. Mosyakin, S. L. & Fedoronchuk, M. M., Vascular plants of Ukraine. A nomenclatural checklist. 1999
K. Jeffrey C. - Compositae (Asteraceae) in Hanelt P. (ed.), Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops (except ornamentals) 4. 2001: 2065
L. Kirschner J. & al. in Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 60: 455-471. 2013