Some See a Wish, Some See a Weed

Which one do you see?

It is such a pity that so many gardeners dislike dandelions and go to great lengths to eradicate them.  I know it really spreads  a lot, but if you use it quickly the plants won’t have time to seed.

Some common names for dandelion are Fairy Clock, Lion’s Teeth, Piss-a-bed, Wet -Weed, Priest’s Crown and Puff-a-Ball, relating to its diuretic properties and the beautiful seed head.  I remember blowing the seeds to see what the time was.  I am sure it was never accurate, but perhaps nature thought it a good way to spread the seed.

It is a potent diuretic and has the added benefit of a rich potassium content which replaces that is lost in urination. The root is used as a liver tonic and is useful for many digestive complaints.  Use the latex in the stalks for removing warts and clearing up acne.  Other uses are as a blood cleanser and for coughs.

The leaves have a slightly bitter flavour which goes so well with the creaminess of boiled eggs in a salad. If you want something a little different, cover the small seedlings with a bucket to block out the sun.  Just remember to water them. You will be rewarded with white leaves which are so pretty in salads. I often make Dandelion pesto which makes a nice change to basil pesto and uses up quite a few leaves

And, as if that isn’t enough, dandelions are very rich in copper which your garden loves.  Combine it with comfrey for a super potent liquid fertilizer.  The root will give you a yellow-brown dye, and hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs love it.  And, finally, the flowers make a delicious wine.  Try this recipe for Dandelion Wine from The Guardian.  Now all you need to do is plant your dandelion patch!

Dandelion:  Taraxacum officinale

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