Common name for plants in the Taraxacum genus.

Dandelion is the common name for perennials known scientifically as Taraxacum officinale.

In full bloom, its appearance sports a yellow head of petals that later turn into white tufts of seed (pictured below). The tuft primarily consists of 'parachutes', each of which are attached to an individual seed (which are clustered at the center of the seed head).

dandelion in seeding mode

In folklore

The seed dispersal stage of its life has been referenced in folklore as a conduit for making wishes. If the person making a wish can blow out all of the seed off the head in on breath, it will come true.

Photo: oops, somebody blew it by Zanastardust, Flickr