The Dandelion. This happy little yellow flower grows in abundance everywhere, dotting the hillsides, curbs and our lawns. Their greens also make a great addition to summer salads, and can also be used for soups and pestos! Here’s 9 facts you might not know about this tenacious little plant:
- What’s in a name? The Dandelion’s name comes from its yellow flower and long lance-shaped leaves. The name is derived from the old french “dents-de-lion” meaning lion’s teeth.
- Dandelions get an “A” from us! Vitamin A that is. One cup of chopped raw dandelion greens provides 112 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A (at only 25 calories).
- Blown Away. Dandelion seeds can be carried a distance of over 8 kilometers which is roughly the equivalent of the driving distance between Pickering and Ajax.
- Don’t underestimate them. Dandelions aren’t just a weed, they’re also classified as a herb.
- They’re early risers! Dandelions flowers open at dawn and close at night.
- Imagine having 30 siblings. There are over 30 different species of Dandelions around the world.
- Cut down the caffeine. Is coffee your thing but you want to cut down on the caffeine? You’re in luck. Roasted dandelion root can be used as a coffee substitute, mimicking the taste and flavour, without any of the caffeine.
- Medicine since the Middle Ages. In the past, Dandelions were prescribed by apothecaries for everything from warts to the plague. Now they’re used to help liver infections, and also as a gentle diuretic.
- Be careful if foraging. Foraging for Dandelions can be dangerous, especially in areas where there’s herbicide or pesticide use. It’s also recommended that you don’t pick them from areas by the highway, train tracks or telephone poles, and to consult your local bylaws about removing flora.