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Did you know Cat's Ear looks like Dadelions? — The Grow Network Community
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Did you know Cat's Ear looks like Dadelions?

bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 134 ✭✭✭

I didn't know there was a plant called Cat's ear that looks like dandelions. Learning something new everyday and it's so much fun!


  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    Great article. Unfortunately, none of the plants mentioned look like what I call a desert dandelion. It has barbed purple tinged leaves, tall flower stem and yellow flowers like dandelion. The flower turns to seed in a closed condition.

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 315 admin

    Nice photos.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 532 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl can you post a picture of the "desert dandelion"? Thank you.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    @tomandcara I thought of a photo yesterday, but I had already pulled them up. I will look around other parts of the yard and post when I find one.

    I am still waiting for my real dandelion seeds to sprout in their pot.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 532 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl I saw our first dandelion blossoms just a few days ago. Years ago I had this incredible dandelion growing in my front yard in one of the garden beds. I had watched it for 5 or 6 years getting bigger and more robust and beautiful. My plan was to harvest it when it was 7 years old (which I did). Anyway, one day someone was walking by the front yard and gave me the "advice" of how to kill it. She was dumbfounded when I told her I had been growing it for the 5 or 6 years it had been at that point. She was so confused and tried to tell me it was a weed! I thanked her for her advice and corrected her regarding it's status of being a weed and let her know it was a wonderfully medicinal herb- I seriously doubt she believed it, but she did continue walking on our street in spite of the crazy man who loved weeds!

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 259 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl i have that also its related to the prickly lettuce i believe.

    @bcabrobin i have a dandelion in may yard that has both leaves smooth and cut/ jaggged

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    @nksunshine27 Thanks for the lead. I will pursue that idea to determine whether I let the next one grow.

    I have been killing them because they are difficult and dangerous to skin to remove when they get large.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    @nksunshine27 I confirm that my desert dandelion is indeed a form of prickly lettuce. I researched the medicinal qualities of the plant and noted its mildly toxic characteristics.

    I will remember this plant in case I have need in the future, but for now I will continue to eradicate it from my outdoor living spaces.

    Thanks again for helping me to identify it. I no longer kill all weeds.

  • KarinKarin New ZealandPosts: 243 ✭✭✭

    We have lots of both in our garden, I always thought they were one and the same, until I read (I think it may have been an article by Rosalee de la Foret) that they were different. I have no idea if they are similar medicinally, will have to find and re-read the article. Thanks for bringing it to my notice again :)

  • bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 134 ✭✭✭


    Does this look like your plant? Desert Dandelion

    Malacothrix glabrata (Malacothrix californica)


    The Desert Dandelion is a member of the Sunflower Family grows 6 to 14 inches high with 3- to 5-inch leaves, which divide into threadlike lobes. Fruit is seed-like and topped with soft bristles. In springs following wet winters, this bright wildflower will form broad, brilliant patches of gold across the sandy desert floor.


    Mojave, Sonoran and Great Basin deserts of southern California, much of Arizona and northern Mexico.


    Open, sandy desert washes and plains below 7,000 feet.


    Bright yellow flowers on branched stems bloom March through June. A single plant can have many flower heads, which are 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide

    Read more: https://www.desertusa.com/flowers/desert-dandelion.html#ixzz6Jn808eCN

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    @bcabrobin Looks like I have been misappropriating the name because this is not my plant. Thank you so much for helping me define this. However, I will keep my eyes open because this plant could be growing in my area and I would encourage it if it did.

    Your amazing results inspired me to search more fully. Looks like maybe the thorny plants I have been killing for decades are some form of sow thistle. Their flowers look just like dandelion flowers when they are open. Unfortunately, I don't have any survivors to photograph as they are painful to remove if allowed to gain any size.

    I do have yellow flowers allowed to spread in my yard just because they are pretty.

    The top one is a Desert Marigold. I don't know the name of the bottom plant but have seen it for sale in the nursery. The flowers look similar, don't they?

  • csinclair461csinclair461 Posts: 101 ✭✭✭

    I read an awesome article once about how there are no poisonous dandelion look alikes. I still make sure I know what ‘lookalike’ I am eating. My yard produced cat’s ear, hawkbit, sow thistle, nipplewort, and I believe wall lettuce. Granted, these don’t all look as much like a dandelion as cats ear, but when I was first learning, I saw so many yellow flowers and rosettes in the yard, and sometimes I was nervous I might mistake something else for an edible. So I was greatly relieved to learn so many were good.

  • sallyhowardsallyhoward AustraliaPosts: 107 ✭✭✭

    I have both but definitely more of the cat's ear "volunteers" unfortunately

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