Domain – Eukarya

Part of the Eukarya domain because they contain eukaryotic cells, they are multicellular-nuclear organelles, and have a phospholipid bilayer membrane.


Kingdom – Plantae

Part of the Plantae kingdom because they contain chlorophyll, chloroplasts (therefore photosynthetic), and  have cell walls made of cellulose.


Phylum – Anthophyta (Angiosperms)

Part of the Anthophyta phylum because they reproduce by covered seeds and go through double fertilization, therefore, part of the angiosperm lineage.


Class – Magnoliopsida

Part of the Magnoliopsida class because they are dicots, meaning they have two cotyledons per embryo, pollen with three pores, and flower parts in multiples of 4 or 5.


Order – Asterales

Part of the Asterales order because they contain an inferior ovary and have a central flowering head.


Family – Asteraceae

Part of the Asteraceae family because they are dicotyledonous flowering plants and are composites.  The flower head is actually composed of many individual florets called discs and/or rays.


Genus – Taraxacum

Part of the Taraxacum genus because they have tap roots that go straight down into the soil and are perennial plants, meaning they can live year after year.


Species – Taraxacum officinale

Part of the officinale because they are yellow with their

leaves turned up.

Phylogenetic Tree

Eudicots (Dicots)                                                                                                                                                            Composites     
                                                                                         Seeds lacking parachutes         Seeds with parachutes
Sunflower                             Ragwort
Non-angiosperms                    Lineage related    Marigolds     Goldenrod     Aster                    Dandelion
to Magnolias                                   Daisies              Inula      Ironweed

                               Oldest Living   










This phylogenetic tree represents the Dandelions closest relatives within the phylum Angiophyta and where they fit within the vast majority of flowers living on the world.



Composites are flowers that have many florets crowded together making one flower head.  There are two types of composites, the disc and the ray.  The disc is radially symmetric, usually small, having 5 petal lobes.  The ray is bilaterally symmetric with long, flat petals.  Most of the composite’s seeds have parachutes to help in wind dispersion.


                  DISCS                                               RAYS

    Thistle, Joe-Pye Weed, Ironweed                        Dandelions

    Daisies (yellow, white and green)                     Daisies (white)

    Sunflowers (yellow or dark)             Sunflower (yellow, purple, white)

       Aster, Ragwort, and Inula                      Aster, Ragwort, and Inula                


Since some of these can be found in both groups, the phylogenetic tree was designed around the seeds containing parachutes.