(Genus: Taraxacum, family: Asteraceae)
Hello, I’m a dandelion.
A lot of people call me a weed but I’m a friend and come to help you!
When you see me, remember that I’m the ONLY one who wants and can grow in that particular spot. Because:
Either the soil is too compact / hard / stomped and I want to loosen it for you with my roots.
Or there is too little calcium in the soil – don’t worry, I will replenish that for you with the dying of my leaves.
Or the soil is too acidic. But I will also improve that for you if you give me the chance.
Or a mixture of the above reasons, of course.
I’m here because your soil needs my help so best you let me grow without disturbing me! When everything is fixed, I will disappear again, I promise!
Are you trying to remove me prematurely with my root? However meticulous you are, I will return 2x as strong! Just until your soil is improved.
You can even tell by my growth at which stage my help is at. If my leaves are flat on the ground then I’m far from ready but if they all reach up then I’m already a long way on my way.
Something completely different is that I am 1 of the first bloomers in spring so I will announce spring / summer for you.
During the day when it’s hot, I open my flowers but in the evening when it cools off I close them again quickly. In fact, if it’s not hot enough during the day I won’t open them at all!
My flowers are the first food for insects after hibernation and unlike most other plants, I have pollen AND nectar, not merely one OR the other! And I am generous with them!
My flowers are even delicious for you people by the way, did you know? I used to be called ′′honey (or gold) of the poor′′ because my flowers are so sweet in e.g. jam, sauce or salad! The internet is full of recipes – check them out.
But wait until the end of May or later before you start picking and even then, don’t pick everything yet! The biodiversity and bees will be very grateful!
Paula Kok – De Boer
Dandelions are an herb that is native to Europe.
Dandelions can be found in mild climates
in temperate regions across the Northern Hemisphere.
Taraxacum officinale is the most common species.
The common dandelion is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant.
The scientific study of the genus is known as taraxacology.
The English name comes from the French dent de lion (lion’s tooth)
referring to the shape the leaves.
Dandelions have medicinal properties used in traditional herbal medicine
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931)
was an American Poet known as “The Prarie Troubadour”
“There’s starting to be a lot more argument that they should be kept because of what they can do for pollinators. Ecologically they are becoming very important as a food source for domestic and wild species of bees, particularly in early spring because they grow so soon. Butterflies and moths also feed on them as a source of sugar, and some species of birds feed on dandelion seeds”
– Ken Willis, University of Alberta Botanic Garden Head of Horticulture
Dandelions are edible and high in nutritional value (vitamins, minerals and fiber).
All parts of the plant (flower, leaf, stem, and roots) can be eaten cooked or raw.
The roots can be dried, ground, and used to make tea.
Dandelions are available as packaged herbal supplements
(capsules, extracts, oils, and tinctures).
Dandelions contain high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene and polyphenols.
Other Potential Health Benefits from Dandelions:
Regulate blood sugar
Lower blood pressure
Aid weight loss
Reduce cancer risk
Boost the immune system
Helps relieve mild constipation
- Dandelion green salad
- Sauteed Dandelion greens (cooking eliminates some of the bitter taste)
- Dandelion fritters
- Baking with Dandelion petals
- Dandelion root tea (and coffee substitute)
Dandelion tea acts as a diuretic and increases urine output.
It has also been used to improve appetite and soothe minor digestive ailments.
Dandelions have low toxicity and are safe for most people.
WARNING! Dandelion can cause an allergic reaction!
People with allergies to other plants like ragweed may also be allergic to Dandelions.
And people with sensitive skin may experience contact dermatitis (a rash or hives).
Other side effects include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and/or heartburn
WARNING! Dandelions may interact badly with some medications (especially diuretics and antibiotics)! If using prescription medications, consult a healthcare provider before using Dandelions.
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“Let it grow”