Dandelion Thoughts

The other day I was following a school bus as I came home. At one stop, a young girl got off. As I watched, she picked a gone-to-seed dandelion and blew on it. I thought, “I bet her parents don’t appreciate her spreading those seeds all around.”

But I also remembered how much fun it was to do that when I was young. It’s nice to know some things don’t change.

Then one day last week I drove past a yard which was truly a field of dandelions. You could barely see any grass for their bright yellow flowers. That got me to pondering dandelions.

They seem to grow easily. I don’t know that they are limited in their range since everyone seems to have them in their yards. They are almost indestructible. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many dollars are spent each year trying to rid lawns of these bright yellow flowers?

Given their hardiness, I began to wonder why we don’t do something with them. I know some people pick the young leaves and eat them in salads or wilted like spinach. My mother told of a neighbor who made wine from them. From what she said, it wasn’t very good but that might have just been a child’s perspective.

Do you suppose there’s any research being done using dandelions? Surely there must be something they could be used to make, some compound that could be synthesized from them that would cure something. Or if nothing else, if eating them when they are young is good for us, couldn’t they been grown commercially and bagged like salad mix is?

It’s a shame that such a plant is only viewed as a noxious weed when there must be something good about it.

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2 Responses to Dandelion Thoughts

  1. fillyjonk says:

    Chickens and rabbits like to eat the leaves. (And it’s my understanding that they’re pretty good for people, too). Some of the old-timers where my mom grew up used to make a spring tonic out of the roots (? I think). And yes, you can make wine from the flowers. (I’ve never had it).

    I wonder if, as people revive the old “Victory Garden” idea (this time to save money), if they’ll come to the realization that some of the stuff they maligned as weeds is actually edible, and come to value them for that? (You can also eat purslane and lamb’s quarters – at least, when the lamb’s quarters are YOUNG, you can).

    I know some people around here who eat pokeweed but I admit I’m afraid to try it; it can be poisonous if not properly prepared.

  2. Robbyn says:

    Here in Massachusetts, you can get dandelion greens in the produce section of at least one of the market chains – right next to the leaf lettuce and the endive šŸ™‚

    I was always puzzled as to why anyone would want to spend so much time and trouble getting rid of a pretty flower. I guess I didn’t understand the attraction of a perfect lawn when I was a kid.

    Actually, I still don’t šŸ™‚ My father’s yard is full of dandelions and violets and I think it’s gorgeous!

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