‘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, and pick the flowers before they die, 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!
Botanical name: Taraxacum officinale\