[Members of the Sunflower Family with Dandylion-like Flower Heads]

Wildflowers of the Genus Agoseris:

False Dandelions of the Columbia River Gorge

Annual Agoseris: Agoseris heterophylla

Wildflowers of the genus Agoseris are similar in outward appearance to those of the genus Microseris. The plants of the genus Agoseris tend to have a more hairy herbage (including involucres as seen in the photo above), and the achenes or seeds have a long stalk or beak between the achene and plume. The herbage of the genus Microseris is usually more or less glabrous with few or no hairs on leaves, stems and involucres, and the achenes lack a stalk between the achene and plume.

1. Orange Agoseris: Agoseris aurantiaca - A perennial, dandelion-like plant with long, narrow leaves with generally entire margins. The flower heads open fully and have flowers which are burnt orange in color.

2. Large-flowered Agoseris, Large-flower Goat-chicory: Agoseris grandiflora (Synonyms: Agoseris grandiflora var. grandiflora, Agoseris grandiflora var. leptophylla, Agoseris laciniata, Agoseris plebeja) - A perennial, dandelion-like plant with all leaves basal, but wider than above and often pinnately lobed. The yellow flower heads are large and often do not open fully. Achenes rounded at the apex with the beak 2-4 times longer than the achene.

3. Annual Agoseris: Agoseris heterophylla var. heterophylla - An annual plant with basal leaves and a single, small, dandelion-like flower head. This is a much smaller plant than the others listed here, being at most 40 cm tall.

4. Spear-leaf Agoseris: Agoseris retrorsa - A perennial, dandelion-like plant that begins with a woolly, straggly haired covering and becomes largely glabrous (at least above) with age. Basal leaves with at least some backward directed lobes. Flower heads narrower than #2 above. Achenes truncate at the apex, with the beak 2-4 times longer than the achene.


Paul Slichter