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