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This is in India. I noticed a dandelion plant which had the familiar leaves. enter image description hereenter image description here

Right next to it there was another plant which had similar flowers and white tufts, but the leaves were different.
enter image description here enter image description here

Is the second plant also dandelion? I'm asking because I was considering feeding the leaves to my budgies, but needed to know if it is a dandelion, to avoid having the birds consume a toxic plant species.

Did a Google search, but all of them show the arrow-style leaves only as dandelion.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not familiair with the flora of India, but these both look like sonchus species to me, not taraxacum (dandelion). $\endgroup$ – RHA Oct 25 '17 at 19:52
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Although the leaves are similar, these are both not Dandelions Taraxacum species, because:
1. Dandelions have leaves in a rosette, not distributed along a stem.
2. Dandelions have a stem with a single flower at the end, not multiple flowers.
3. The shape of the closed flower heads after flowering is too pointed. Dandelions usually have the pappus (white hairs) sticking out a little.

These distinctions can be clearly seen in the picture below:
enter image description here

I am not familiair with the flora of India, but I think these could be Sonchus species. Sonchus is known to have variable leaves.

For comparative purposes, see how Sonchus looks like enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Very good answer! I hope you don't mind I added a Sonchus picture! $\endgroup$ – Thai Oct 26 '17 at 11:37
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Dandelion is the commom name used to make reference mainly to Taraxacum officinale, but actually is also used to virtually any species of the genus Taraxacum. I mean, a lot of species are known as Dandelion, hence this name comprises a lot of morphologies.

Also, there is something called "Phenotypic plasticity", which refers to changes in the organism characteristics due to adaptation to environmental factors. (I.e. one species may have different morphologic and physiologic traits in response to environmental variation).

Regarding to the photos you posted, it's not safe to tell you if these are the same species or not, because one would need way more detailed images, mainly from flowers, to give you a more accurate identification.

There is a Fabebook group named DetWeb, where botanists identify plants if you post good enought photos... It's a brazilian group, but you can post in english, of course.

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  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion, this doesn't really answer the question, which is if these are dandelions or not. $\endgroup$ – RHA Oct 25 '17 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ yes, you are right... but it's a brief explanatin on why it's not simple to tell if these are two dandelions.. Do you think I should have provided this information as comment instead of answer? $\endgroup$ – Thai Oct 25 '17 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ It is probably to long for a comment. And one can easily tell these are not Dandelions. $\endgroup$ – RHA Oct 25 '17 at 20:01

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