Krigia virginica (L.) Willd.

Dwarf Dandelion

Habitat: Dry sterile soil. [Rocky coastal (non-forested, upland); Dry barrens (partly forested, upland)]

Range: Florida to Texas; north to southern Maine, southern New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, southern Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Aids to Identification: Krigia virginica is a native species which resembles a miniature version of the weedy common dandelion. Its flower heads, however, are only 6-12 mm wide, and are on very slender stalks. The leaves are usually lobed or toothed, but the indentations are irregular and leaf shape is variable. Other similar dandelion species (common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, red-seeded dandelion, T. laevigatum, and fall dandelion, Leontodon autumnalis) have flower heads which are at least 1.8 cm wide. Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.), with which it could also be confused, have flower heads in a branched cluster or are very hairy, or have entire leaves. Krigia is the only dandelion-like plant with a pappus of both scales and bristles.

Ecological characteristics: Little information for Maine, since no current locations are known. Full sun seems to be a requirement for this species.

Phenology: Flowers April - August.

Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Hyoseris virginica L.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 6 town(s) in the following county(ies): Oxford, Sagadahoc, York.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range; not rare southwards.

Conservation considerations: Some former sites for this species (e.g. Mt. Agamenticus in the town of York) may have either changed to wooded vegetation due to succession or have been converted to other uses.