One of the early-blooming flowers on Iowa's prairies is Nothocolais cuspidata, the prairie false dandelion. The yellow flower looks like the common non-native dandelion, but is generally larger. The leaves are long, narrow, and wavy. Nothocolais prefers dry slopes, and is relatively common in the Loess Hills (compared to other parts of Iowa), and more common in drier, western states. It typically blooms in April-May, and most plants have already gone to seed by now (late May).
Check out these links to learn more about Nothocolais cuspidata:
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