The word ‘dandelion’ is derived from the French phrase ‘dent de lion’ meaning ‘lion’s tooth.’
“When you look at a field of dandelions, you can choose to see thousands of weeds or thousands of wishes. Pluck by the stem a dandelion flower that has turned from yellow to white. Make a secret wish from your heart’s desires. When you blow on them, the fluffy white tufts attached to each of the individual seeds will drift away, sometimes even to be borne aloft by breezes. If you are lucky, one of them may land in the hidden realm of the fairies, and a fairy may find the wish attached to it and make the wish real in some way. May all of your secret dandelion wishes come true.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
A Dandelion Ditty
Roses are red,
Violets are blue -
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do!
by Author Unknown
When plants reach the stage of development in which they produce seeds, they are often referred to as having ‘gone to seed.’ Dandelions visibly go to seed when their yellow flowers turn into spherical constellations of white tufts.
A dandelion doesn’t roar
Which is a lucky thing
With all the millions that there are
That would be frightening.
When I went out to play today
I found dandelions yellow and gay
And then when I came in tonight
The dandelions had turned to white.
by Author Unknown
Dandelions are hardy plants with strong roots that reach far down into the soil to obtain water and nutrients. The roots can be 3 to 4.5 meters (10 to 15 feet) in length, but often are only 15 to 45 centimeters (6 to 18 inches) in length.
“If dandelions were hard to grow they would be most welcome on any lawn.” -Andrew V. Mason
What are the nutritional benefits of dandelions? Dandelion flowers contain antioxidants. Dandelion leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the minerals calcium, copper, iron, manganese, and potassium. Dandelion roots are rich in iron, boron, beta-carotene, and potassium.
It is against the law in Pueblo, Colorado, United States of America, to raise a dandelion or permit a dandelion to grow within city limits. Some people do not know what else to do with themselves, so they spend a part of their lives making unnecessary laws.
“If dandelions were rare and fragile, people would knock themselves out to pay $14.95 a plant, raise them by hand in greenhouses, and form dandelion societies and all that. But, they are everywhere and don’t need us and kind of do what they please. So we call them weeds and murder them at every opportunity. Well, I say they are flowers.” -Robert Fulgham
Dandelions can be washed in water and eaten raw, or cooked. Dandelion flowers and leaves add color and flavor to salads. Dandelion leaves can also be juiced. Dandelion roots can be roasted or used to make tea.
Dandelions have been used as a food source and as a medicine for more than 1,000 years. European immigrants purposely brought dandelion seeds to America, to use the greens, or leaves of the plant, for making salads and teas. Dandelion roots can be served as a vegetable course, or dried and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can used be to make a yellow dye for wool. There are periodic revivals of using dandelions in these ways, as generation after generation rediscovers dandelions.
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