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My Mutant Dandelions

Updated on June 10, 2017

Fasciated Dandelions in My Own Backyard

While many people spend time and money trying to rid their yard of every last dandelion in sight, I actually like them. I'm not sure how my neighbors feel about it, but I think that a yard sprinkled in little yellow flowers is nice, and that's why I let them live.

However, this year, my dandelions are looking a bit grotesque. My dandelions have mutated!

Instead of the little yellow flower that ends up as a slim stem with a puff on top, I've got fat ugly monstrous Franken-flowers. I'm no horticulturist, but I know that's weird.

Being curious by nature, especially about nature, I had to get to the bottom of this. Plus, I needed reassurance that there wasn't something happening in my yard that would make me mutate into Swamp Thing.

A Close-Up of My Mutant Dandelion - Front & Back of My Fasciated Dandelion


What Does Science Call It?

Dandelion Mutations = Taraxacum officinale bizzaro

Taraxacum officinale is the name of the species better known as the common dandelion.

So, after observing our botanical specimen, noting its wide, but hollow stem, and counting how many heads it had (nine), we took some photos. (It's too bad I didn't notice this mutant while still yellow, or I would have documented its growth.)

Then my niece did what every curious girl does who finds something fascinating in nature: she plucked it from the ground and ran it in to Grandma to find out what it was.

It seems that our dandelion's mutation is fasciation (also known as cresting).

Fortunately, fasciation is not something to be concerned about. Seeing a fasciated dandelion does not mean you have toxic waste on your land and it doesn't mean that your house is being subjected to terrible radiation. There is no reason to panic if you find a mutant dandelion in your yard.

When cresting occurs, a growing point on the plant changes from a round dome of cells into a crescent shape. This could be caused by many events such as hormonal imbalance, infection (by bacteria, viruses or phytoplasmas), environmental changes (such as extreme weather), mechanical damage (such as being hoed), or feeding by insects or other animals. The exact cause for a particular case of fasciation is rarely known and often seems just random.

Over a hundred plants have been documented as having occurrences of fascination, including ferns, woody plants, annuals and perennials, cacti, fruits and vegetables. The fasciation often causes stems to have wide band-like shape, and the flowers to grow in a crescent shape like a fan.

Have you ever seen a mutated dandelion?

Have you seen fasciated dandelions?

See results

Normal Dandelion Stem vs. Fasciated Dandelion Stem

Normal Dandelion Stem vs. Fasciated Dandelion Stem
Normal Dandelion Stem vs. Fasciated Dandelion Stem | Source

Dandelion: Celebrating the Magical Blossom

Dandelion: Celebrating the Magical Blossom
Dandelion: Celebrating the Magical Blossom

This is a beautiful book, being illustrated with oil paintings. It is filled with facts, quotes, history, and legends regarding dandelions.

It's a lovely book that celebrates a beautiful flower that many ignore, and sometimes loathe.

Mutant Dandelion
Mutant Dandelion | Source

I'm Not the Only One With Mutant Dandelions

Reports of Fasciated Dandelions Around the World

I am located in upstate NY, but mutant dandelions have been seen around the world. Check out the photos from these sightings:

Fascia in Latin = "to fuse"

Fascinating Fasciation

So, now you know what a fasciated dandelion looks like. Are you wondering what other flowers with fasciation look like?

Check out these mutated flowers:

Fasciated Flower (White Mule's Ear)

Fasciated Flower (White Mule's Ear)
Fasciated Flower (White Mule's Ear) | Source

I love this t-shirt which is subtle in its beauty, just as the dandelion is.

On the back it reads:

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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    • profile image

      Duncan Cratty 9 months ago

      I found one in my yard

    • profile image

      Chris O 20 months ago

      Just found one growing against the house in Kincardine, Ontario Canada.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for mentioning my fasciated dandelions! Loads more here in France this year!

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 5 years ago

      This looks like a mystery that someone should solve.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I eat dandelions but I don´t think I would touch the mutant ones!

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 5 years ago

      I'm a dandelion killer so mine never get a chance to fasciate.

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 5 years ago

      maybe you spilled some miracle grow on it ...LOL - cool

    • StewartClan profile image

      StewartClan 5 years ago

      Never seen dandelions like this, but my neighbour when I lived in Leeds, England, had crested robins. Never seen them before or since. I wonder if they were a mutation?

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      I think this lens is so cool because of the fascination of the unusual. Good work!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Wow! I didn't know these existed. Thanks for the photos and sharing about it!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Quite interesting lens. My dandelions tends to grow quite large here in Florida so we pluck them, but I do love seeing lawns and fields of them in upstate new York when we visit in the summers.

    • profile image

      AlienwareCoupons 5 years ago


    • MrMojo01 profile image

      MrMojo01 5 years ago

      Crazy pictures!

    • nicks44 profile image

      nicks44 5 years ago

      Another one of them mutant plants, this just keeps getting better and better :)

    • karen-stephens profile image

      karen-stephens 5 years ago

      OMG get dandilion insurance!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. No I have not seen any dandelions like that, but I will be looking out for then now. Thanks.

    • eduguy1 profile image

      eduguy1 5 years ago

      Those are so scary.


    • profile image

      drevostavby 5 years ago

      This is not dandelions but moooonster :)

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 5 years ago

      Enjoyed that. At first I thought it was a fasciNated dandelion - maybe magic? Then I realised the word was fasciated! Fascinating lens, though :)

    • CottageHomestead profile image

      CottageHomestead 5 years ago

      WOW! That is crazy stuff - I had never seen that before. I love dandelions and they are good for you too. :) When I was younger I ate them deep fried (the flower part) so good.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      YOur fasciated dandelions are fascinating but I'm not sure there is a guarantee of not turning into a swamp thing....congratulations on front page honors!

    • profile image

      DeirdreDenholm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      Our peace lily produced a couple of fasciated flowers once, and we found some fasciated cleomes growing alongside the road. It's an interesting phenomena!

      Thanks for sharing yours.

    • TaraWojt profile image

      Tara Wojtaszek 5 years ago

      Never heard of fasciated dandelions before, but now I'll keep a look out.

    • MizzMary profile image

      MizzMary 5 years ago

      Ahhh, I love to learn something when I read a lens. I remember when I was a kid and our back yard had almost as many dandelions as grass one year, and I found a couple that were very similar to your photos. Mystery solved!

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 5 years ago from USA

      I greatly enjoyed reading this fascinating and funny lens - thanks!

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 5 years ago from CNY

      Nature can be quite strange at times.

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      I'm surprised I haven't had any giant mutated dandelions in my yard, I have tons of other weeds that I've never seen before!.

      Great lens!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I never see "Mutant Dandelions", your pictures are great and I learn something new in this lens... Blessings!

    • profile image

      fascina 5 years ago

      Cute flower pictures. ^_^

    • profile image

      classifiedshi 5 years ago

      good stuff.....look like green color every where

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      This is something great that should be recorded. May be it will contribute some important parts for scientists to learn about the mutation

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      amazing, great share

    • wedpittsburgh lm profile image

      wedpittsburgh lm 5 years ago

      Wow! This is so interesting. I've never even heard of such a thing but how neat! I might have to pay more attention in my own garden.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Succulent plants are well known for fasciating, and are entered into flowers shows and displayed.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      Fascinating fasciation - it really is! I've seen them before but not quite so extreme.

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 5 years ago

      I've never seen anything like this before, and I walk the wood and pasture trails every day. Weird stuff. The white mule's ear looks like science fiction stuff. Almost scary, lol

    • profile image

      clayva 5 years ago

      Very interesting, who'd have thought?

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      It's bad enough that these are weeds, but with the stems growing so thick, it would make it harder to pull them out of the ground. Interesting mutation.

    • TheAusMan14 profile image

      TheAusMan14 5 years ago

      This is quite interesting!

    • profile image

      igottahaveone 5 years ago

      I have seen this before thought it was odd and mowed it over and thought it was due to being very dry at the time, didn't give it another thought until this article.

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 5 years ago

      Wow, these are so weird! I have never run into one of these and I do have some dandelions growing in my backyard. Guess the hunt is on now, thanks for sharing this awesome info. Congrats on your well deserved Purple Star.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      Awesome! I've never seen dandelions like these, but we did have a "mutant" dandelion that grew disturbingly tall at an old house... so tall that, rather than cut it down, we staked it, then tied it off to the rain gutter, just to see how tall it would grow. I know that can't have been a regular dandelion, though the only difference I could see between it and the others in the yard was size... it was up to the roof!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Glad to hear it was not from toxins - that would have been my first worry. Very interesting photo.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Fascinating fasciation! I wouldn't eat a dandelion salad made out this though-- I might grow a second head an fuse it.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Whoa, those are pretty crazy!

    • Bustler profile image

      Bustler 5 years ago

      Nice info. Thanks for sharing

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      I am so glad you took the time to build this lens. I had no idea what these were, and to learn about this process and to have resources to go see other plants that do this was awesome. I love love love learning new things like this - so thank you!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      How bizarre yet fascinating!

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I've never seen these before (thank goodness) - I much prefer the cute little yellow dandelions that my kids always picked for me when they were little!

    • ctmom1 profile image

      ctmom1 5 years ago

      Just looking at these pictures makes me want to sneeze. Holy allergies batman! Glad I don't have any around here!