This article was last updated by on

5+ Large Dandelion Looking Plant You Need To Distinguish

As Dandelions are nuisance invasive weeds, seeing a bunch of large Dandelion plants or even a plant looking like them can be frustrating.

Generally, the Dandelion’s yellow flower heads and basal leaves make it similar to some perennial herbs like false Dandelion, Catsear, and Meadow Hawkweed, and annuals or sometimes biennials like Sow Thistle and Narrowleaf Hawksbeard.

However, they do differ from each other due to leaves and flowerhead size. Read on to identify the most common Dandelion looking plant.

Is There Really A Large Dandelion Looking Plant?

Yes. Many herbaceous weeds look somewhat like Dandelion plants, mainly during the juvenile stage.

The look-alike plants of Dandelion have basal rosette leaves that appear similar at the beginning.

However, the leaves themselves are the differentiating character as Dandelion features smooth broadleaf. Meanwhile, its most look-alike has narrower lobed leaves.

Also, as the look-alikes mature, they produce daisy-like yellow flowerheads like Dandelions.

But soon, the single-stem blooms will help you identify Dandelion apart from the bundled flowers of the similar-looking weeds.

Flowers That Look Like Dandelion

A Dandelion is a herbaceous plant with a yellow flower on a single stem that turns into a puffed head to form seeds.

However, various species of the Dandelion family (Asteraceae) feature similar characteristics, making it appear as a giant Dandelion like plant.

Some of the plant with a flower that looks like Dandelion is as follow:

1. False Dandelions

The name of False Dandelion (Agoseris spp.) is itself pretty self-explanatory, meaning they look like a Dandelion weed but are not.

Similar to regular Dandelions, False Dandelion also has yellow blooms or flowers.

For instance, Coast Dandelion (Agoseris apargioides) is a weed species that resembles the common Dandelion. It is a perennial plant native to the Pacific Coast of the US.
The blooms of Agoseris apargioides is growing over the ground
The Coast Dandelion, or woolly goat chicory, can grow up to 1.5 feet tall.

The herbaceous weed features rosette foliage above the sand and has green, slender to broad leaves with rounded lobes along the leaf margin.

Meanwhile, the False Dandelion contains a milky sap similar to Dandelions. It also produces vibrant blooms from May to August.

2. Narrowleaf Hawksbeard

Another look-alike of the Dandelion is the Narrowleaf Hawksbeard, a native plant of Europe, Central Asia, and China.

The Narrowleaf Hawksbeard (Crepis tectorum) has alternately arranged pointed hairless leaves.

Also, the slender stems hold multiple yellow-head flower stalks. This is a distinguishing trait of Narrowleaf, as the common Dandelion gives a single flower per stem.
A bunch of yellow flowers looking like Dandelion is growing in a ground
The Narrowleaf Hawksbeard grows up to 1 to 2 feet tall.

That said, some plant species of Narrowleaf Hawksbeard produce a single flower on each stalk.

Nonetheless, the Narrwoleaf Hawksbeard belongs to the Asteraceae family and grows in sunny and moist places.

With proper care, you can expect the Hawksbeard plants to bloom from June to August.

3. Western Salsify

If you have ever encountered a large Dandelion looking plant equal to the size of a tennis ball, doubt for Western Slasify.

Also known as yellow Salsify or Goatsbeard, the Western Salsify (Tragopogon dubius) belong to the Asteraceae family. It is native to Northern Africa and Eurasia.

The Western Salsify is a biennial or a short-lived perennial herbaceous plant commonly found in pastures, meadows, grasslands, and open forests.
A person is holding on the flower stalk of western salsify plant
The Western Salsify can attain a height of 2-4 feet.

Western Salsify has linear grass-like foliage that is hairy at axils and releases milky juice when broken.

Meanwhile, the flower heads of Salsify are yellow and larger than Dandelions, confusing the gardeners as a big Dandelion looking plant.

4. Catsear

Going by the name flat weed or even False Dandelion, Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) is a perennial weed native to Europe.

The Catsear has basal rosette hairy leaves in a lanceolate shape with flat, yellow flowerheads measuring 2 to 4 cm in diameter.
The hairy leaves of large Dandelion looking plant over a ground
The leaves of Catsear grow near the soil and can attain a height of 2 feet.

Also, the blooms of Catsear come out in bundles from a single stem which could be the distinguishing feature.

Meanwhile, the leaves of Catsear are less bitter than the Dandelion, so you can even use it for salads. However, it is not for livestock due to its toxicity.

5. Sow thistle

Like the Dandelion, Sow Thistle (Sonchus spp.) is a member of the Asteraceae family native to Europe and Western Asia.

However, the leaves of the Sow Thistle have deeply divided lobes making it prickly to touch from the edges.

The stems branch out to produce a bunch of flower stalks that give Dandelion-like yellow clustered flowers.
The puffed head of Sow Thistle
Sow Thistle is an annual plant growing up to 3 feet tall.

Also, the leaves hold milky white sap making it known as Milky Thistle. However, it differs from the true Milky Thistle (Silybum marianum).

6. Meadow Hawkweed

Meadow Hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) is a flowering creeping perennial native to Europe and belongs to the Asteraceae family.

The Hawkweed goes by the name King Devil or field Hawkweed and has toothed leaves that extend up to 6 inches long. It features green, elliptical leaves with fine hairs.
The yellow flowerhead of Dandelion looking plant
Meadow Hawkweed is a perennial plant that grows up to 3 feet tall.

Meanwhile, it has a clustered flowerhead that holds 4 to 50 blooms per cluster which are bright yellow to orange.

The stem is bristly, leafless and lies flat on the ground due to long rhizomes and fibrous roots. Also, it has dense, blackish hairs all over the stem.

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

Distinguishing the Dandelion from its look-alike is necessary as most prefer to eat parts of Dandelion. However, some of its look-alikes, like the variety of Sow Thistle, can be poisonous.

Also, you can commonly find these noxious weeds all over your lawn, pastures, neglected landscapes, and roadsides.

So get rid of them by deadheading the flowers before they seed to control their spread.