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Taraxacum kok-saghyz - L.E.Rodin.                
                 
Common Name Rubber Dandelion
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
Synonyms T. bicorne.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats High mountain regions, usually on light loamy meadow soils[110].
Range E. Europe to W. Asia - Turkistan.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Taraxacum kok-saghyz is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Taraxacum kok-saghyz Rubber Dandelion


© Dr. Jan B. van Beilen
Taraxacum kok-saghyz Rubber Dandelion
© Dr. Jan B. van Beilen
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked[K]. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them[K] Root - cooked[183]. Flowers - raw or cooked[183]. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters[183]. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea[177, 183]. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Alcohol;  Latex.

The root is a source of a high quality latex, used in making rubber[1, 46, 61, 110]. Yields between 150 and 500 kilos per hectare are possible[110, 171]. The roots are harvested in the autumn, before any hard frosts which can destroy some of the latex. They are then macerated to extract the latex. The root is rich in the starch inulin. After the latex has been extracted, this inulin can be converted to alcohol and used as a fuel.
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers a well-drained moisture retentive humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade[110]. Prefers a pH between 5.5 and 8.5[110]. Dislikes very heavy or compacted soils[110]. Top growth of seedlings is very slow at first until the root has developed[110]. It is advantageous to mark out the rows with a catch crop such as radishes or lettuce[110]. This plant used to be grown commercially in Russia as a rubber producing plant. It was trialed in various countries during the second world war and was found to yield a commercial harvest in Britain, Scandinavia and Northern N. America. In a trial in N. America plants grew better in the northern U.S.A. and S. Canada than they did in the south of the USA[141]. With the advent of cheap artificial rubber interest in this plant dwindled. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks, though 2 weeks cold stratification may improve germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.E.Rodin.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
50
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[110]Polhamus. L. G. Rubber: Botany, Cultivation and Utilization.
Mainly tropical plants with a small section on temperate plants for rubber.
[141]Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK.
Some suggested alternative commercial crops for Britain. Readable. Produced by a University study group.
[171]Hill. A. F. Economic Botany.
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some a bit of detail about the plants it does cover.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
bioeffekt Wed May 3 2006
how exactly is the latex extracted from the plant?
Elizabeth H.
Song jun ho Thu Jan 11 2007
how exactly is the latex extracted from the plant. Where can get the seed of Taraxacum kok-saghyz.
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Sun Jan 21 2007
The simplest method of extracting the latex is by totally macerating the plant in water, the latex then floats to the surface. As regards obtaining seed, your best bet would be to contact various botanical gardens, especially those in Russia and China. The plant is often grown in Botanical Gardens and many of these will supply seed to interested parties.
Elizabeth H.
richard Sat Oct 4 2008
can you get latex from common dandelions (taraxacum officinale)?
Elizabeth H.
Jaime Perea-Suarez Wed Jan 13 2010
TARAXACUM KOK-SAGHYZ--Where to find extense info about: a) How to get seeds b) Getting the latex and inulin c) Methods of cultivation J. Perea-Suarez British and ColumbianInternational Tel 44 7551 399 244 (UK) E-m:japs1132000@yahoo.co.uk

Taraxacum Officinale

Jan V.
EU-PEARLS is a European Research project (FP7) aiming to develop two alternative plant sources of natural rubber and latex: guayule and Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz). Dec 2 2010 12:00AM
I represent a European research project (link below) trying to develop TKS for rubber and latex production. One discovery was that the dandelion species labeled as TKS in botanical gardens is actually another species: Taraxacum brevicorniculatum. We collected new germplasm in Kazakhstan, which revealed that both species occur in the same environment, and that T. brevicorniculatum is much more vigorous: it overgrows TKS in a few years. I can also send you pictures of true TKS, and more information (jan.vanbeilen@unil.ch).
EU-PEARLS: EU-based Production and Exploitation of Alternative Rubber and Latex Sources
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