The early arrival of unseasonably warm weather has brought lots of invasive wildflowers to The F&P yard like chickweed, birds- eye speedwell, purple deadnettle, henbit AND bright yellow dandelions.
The name of this perennially, herbaceous plant with long, lance-shaped leaves and jagged flower petals is presumed to have originated in France. The French term dent de lion meaning lion's tooth was translated in English to dandelion.
Early uses for this wildflower were for food, a dermatological and gastrointestinal aid, cure for sore throats, analgesic, blood purifier, sedative, laxative, diuretic, love potion, and general tonic for good health. Dandelion leaves are used to treat high blood pressure because of their ability to reduce the volume of fluid in the body. Dandelion root has been shown to stimulate bile production and to cleanse the liver. The root is also considered one of the most effective detoxifying herbs.
Dandelions are still consumed; dandelion leaves are boiled like spinach or mixed in salads. Baby dandelion leaves are often found in haute cuisine (Fr. for high cuisine, an elaborate and skillful manner of preparing food). The dried dandelion root has been used as a coffee substitute.
- The flower opens in the morning and closes in the evening.
- It’s thought to represent three celestial bodies – yellow flower (the sun), puff ball (the moon) and dispersing seeds (the stars).
- Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, flower.
- Before the 1800s, folks would pull grass from their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, malva, and chamomile.
- The average American knows the names of less than five plants growing in his/her yard, excluding dandelions.
- Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant. Seeds can be carried up to 5 miles from their origin.