Plants of
South Australia
Taraxacum cygnorum
Native Dandelion
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Taraxacum from the modern Latin 'taraxacum' which is from the Persian 'tarkhashqun' meaning a bitter herb or dandelion. Cygnorum from the Latin 'cygnis' meaning a cygnet or young swan, in reference to the location of the type specimen from the Swan River to Cape Riche, Western Australia. 

Distribution and status

Limited occurrences on Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and in the upper South-east in South Australia, growing in woodland and scrub on limestone. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Was recorded from Western Australia but now presumed extincted. Native. Extremely rare in South Australia. Very rare in the other States. Extinct in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Leaves oblong to linear-lanceolate, to 12 cm long, glabrescent, lobes 4–7 on each side, short, obtusely to acutely deltoid to hamate-attenuate, sometimes pointing forward, distal margins denticulate to lobulate; interlobes entire to acutely denticulate; petioles usually pale, very narrowly winged. Flower-spike solitary with pale lemon-yellow dandilion-like daisy flower. Looks like the introduced dandilion but distinguished by the shape, texture and size of the seed. Flowering between September and December. Fruits are pale brown, long ovoid daisy-head with long bracts covering the seeds. Seeds are dark red to blackish-purple ovoid seeds to 6 mm long, spinulose above, rugose below to the base, with a ring of hairs at the end of a long tail. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and January. Collect heads that are turning brown, seeds should easily be pull out. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 85%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Fire response

Obligate re-spouter and  re-seeder.

Longevity: ?? years

Time to flowering: 1 year

Recovery work

In 2020-2021 this species was assessed post-fire in 1 year and 2 year old fire scars. A total of 1,400 seeds have been collected & banked for a population inside the 2020 fire scar. Germination screening testing the response to fire cues will be undertaken in 2021.This project was supported by the UK Bushfire Fund program.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
1,800 (0.52 g)
1,800 (0.52 g)
Eyre Peninsula
27-Feb-201485%+5°C, -18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table: