The fall dandelion is making a great show this year, especially at the edges of the lawn where it meets the gravelly driveway. I don’t ever remember quite so many in bloom.
The fall dandelion is not really a dandelion at all, although the strong similarity explains the name. The fall dandelion is properly known as Leontodon autumnalis, while the common dandelion is Taraxacum officinale. The difference is that the fall dandelion has more narrowly cut leaves with lobes that can point forward or backward. The stem is wiry and does not have the milky juice. Neither of these is native to North America.
Fall or spring, these flowers have a connection to the king of beasts. There is the spring dandeLION and the fall LEOntodon. In both cases the reference is to those nasty teeth of the lion.