Dandelion

Dandelion

Taraxacum Officinale

Ahh Dandelion! Such a persecuted plant. I wonder why, after all they have so much to offer: They bring joy to children (my little girl loves blowing the fluffy “clock” seed heads to make a wish!), provide food for bees and other insects, add cheerful colour to dull lawns and other habitats and they’re full of tasty goodness!

Public Enemy #1

Humans seem to have a strong adversity and intent to destroy any successful organism, and Dandelions are certainly that with their awesome seed dispersal technique.
 
On my allotment, they were basically outlawed! I had dutifully removed them before they went to seed but hadn’t wanted to waste them (after all they are as good as cultivated vegetables!) I decided to dry the decapitated flower heads by spreading them on a sunny window sill.
 
I was surprised to come back to find a big fluffy mass of seeds instead of the colourful petals. I had hoped to make something delicious but instead the dandelions had tricked me into becoming a seed dispersal agent! Clever.
Dandelion

Sky Flowers

Dandelions are members of the Daisy family (Asteraceae) along with Sunflowers, a name I’ve often thought more fitting for the humble Dandelion. In fact, I like to call them Sun and Moon flowers after making a delightful discovery a few years ago…
 
Looking outside my window one sunny day, all I could see was a mass of sun-like flowers, shining brightly, but when I looked out of the same window later that night, the yellow suns were gone from sight and instead, glowing in the moonlight, the seed heads had transformed into silvery sphere’s; Perfect replicas of the celestial night guardian.
Moon and Sun

Healthful

All parts of the Dandelion plant are edible and nutritious with many medicinal benefits.
 
Dandelion leaves are packed with nutrients. They contain more vitamin A than carrots as well as riboflavin, vitamin C, B6, vitamin K, calcium, iron, thiamine, manganese, copper, folate, potassium and more!

Medicinal

If you remember being warned, as a child, that picking Dandelions would make you wet the bed, you might be surprised to know there may be a grain of truth in the old superstition, as Dandelions are known for their diuretic properties. The French word for Dandelion is Pissenlit [piss-in-bed]!
 
The healing powers of Dandelion have been recognised for centuries. Good for digestive issues and promoting healthy liver function due to their detoxifying properties. Ironic that we humans commonly use toxic substances to destroy them!

Please enjoy this wonderful weed. If you have more than you want in your garden, pick the flowers before they seed and make honey flavoured syrup, use the leaves in salads or try my simple recipe for Crispy Flora Pakora. If you need to dig them out for any reason, give the roots a good scrub and try roasting them.

But try to leave some for the Bees!

Dandelion
Photo By Dragan

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. What a beautiful picture of that big dandilion with the bee on it 🙂

    1. Thank you Mary. Yes, it was a big Dandelion, and a very happy Bee! 🙂

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