Leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate, c. 8–30 cm long, arachnoid-hairy to glabrescent; deeply lobed, usually with complex further dissection; petioles winged or unwinged, reddish on one or both sides (but see note below). Scapes to 40 cm long. Capitula 4.5 cm diam. or more; outermost involucral bracts erecto-patent to abruptly reflexed, uniformly or variously oriented in a single capitulum, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, c. 8–12 mm long (in Victoria), white borders absent or very narrow (less than 0.2 mm wide), not callus-tipped. Marginal ligules far exceeding involucre; pollen usually present; stigmas yellow, yellowish-green or grey. Cypselas turbinate, 3.5–4 mm long, grey-brown to straw-coloured, spinulose at apex, smooth in lower two thirds; cone conical, 0.2–0.5 (–0.8) mm long; beak longer than cypsela body; pappus 5–6 mm long. Flowers Sept.-Apr.
Native to Eurasia. Grows in urban habitats and damp native vegetation including alpine grasslands.
The binomial Taraxacum officinale is currently used by many botanical authors to represent the “Common or Garden Dandelion”, disregarding A.J.Richards’ lectotypification (Taxon 34: 633–644 (1985)), which restricted its use to a species of the then section Crocea M.P.Christ. of northern and alpine Europe. A new lectotypification proposal, which would return the name to its most common usage has recently been published (J.Kirschner & J.Štěpánek, Taxon 60(1): 216–220 (2011)). This proposal is followed here and thus T. sect. Taraxacum replaces T. sect. Ruderalia. Taraxacum sect. Taraxacum as diagnosed above excludes those species with relatively long cylindrical cones and callosed involucral bracts, which are included in the section by most authors. These are placed, in this treatment, in Taraxacum species group 1.
No Victorian members of sect. Taraxacum species have wholly green petioles, but T. ancistrolobum Dahlst., widespread in Europe, is known from New South Wales. It may occur in Victoria but has yet to be detected here.