Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dandelion Flower (Taraxacum)


The Dandelion is from a larger group of flowering plants from the family called Asteraceae. Native to Eurasia from about 30,000,000 years ago and eventually brought over to North America by immigrants. They are seen as a weed world wide as they grow so fast and root out other plants. A good piece of information is that the two different species are entirely edible if you ever need to live in the wild! You will find that the dandelion is yellow and then of course there is the seed head that looks like the photographs in this post. When flowering is completely finished the head drys out for a few days and the petals and stamens drop off. the bracts and ball opens up into the sphere in this post where they are like mini parachutes waiting for the wind to lift them off and take them to an area so they can seed.
Interesting how the name came to be "dandelion." The name dandelion in the English language is from the French "dent de lion", which means lions tooth because the yellow leaves are coarse toothed. In Chinese language it's called pú gōng yīng which means "flower that grows in public spaces by the riverside." Fancy right?
Now even though it is a weed doesn't mean it is bad. First it is edible so eat them up if you like. The tap root of the plant brings nutrients up to the top soil where it helps other plants and it also attracts pollinators so it might not be all that bad if it is in your garden!
I will warm though, if you are allergic to pollen DO NOT EAT them when they are pollinating or have pollen on them. 
more below...


One more thing. I have been told this for a long time but if you can pick one up that has the parachute seeds ready like the photographs here and hold it up to your face and blow in one breath all the seeds off and make a wish that it can come true. But you must be able to do it in one blow and make sure you have that wish fixed in your head!

info from Wikipedia

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