dandelion Taraxacum officinale, one of the most widespread wild plants of temperate regions worldwide. Leaves, root, and flowers are all edible. Dandelions belong to the large family Asteraceae, in which their nearest edible relative is wild chicory; they resemble this in the variable form of their leaves and the slight bitterness of leaves and root. T. officinale is a native of Europe and Asia. There are also native American species, but there, too, T. officinale has spread everywhere thanks to its airborne seeds.