Also known as
Blowball, Lion's-Tooth, Cankerwort, Milk-Witch, Yellow-Gowan, Irish Daisy, Monks-Head, Priest's-Crown, Puff-Ball, Perdeblom (Afr.)
Photo by chaz1 (All rights reserved)
This plant has no fragrance
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Taraxacum officinale is a herbaceous, tap-rooted, perennial plant from the Asteraceae family. Easy to grow and easy to enjoy, the Dandelion with its toothed, green foliage and yellow flowers is a multipurpose plant that will grow almost anywhere, brighten up your garden, attract birds and insects of all kinds and prove to be useful in a variety of ways. The showy flowers, and indeed the whole plant has been and is still used in a variety of culinary and medicinal applications. This plant is often found in the wild in Northern Europe.
Common problems with Dandelion
Generally pest and and disease free.
How to harvest Dandelion
The leaves are best harvested when the plant is young and tender (and less bitter). You can harvest the greens throughout the growing season. Roots can be harvested in the fall of the second year of growth. Pull the entire root from the ground and avoid breakage.
How to propagate Dandelion
Sow seed in spring in a cold frame. Sow seed onto an all-purpose compost in deep pots, to accommodate the roots, or straight onto open soil.
Divide in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
Bits of roots remaining in the soil will grow into a new plants.
Special features of Dandelion
Repels harmful insects
The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as butterflies, bees and moths enjoy visiting the bright yellow flowers.
Can be grown in a large container in order to prevent it from spreading, but also for aesthetic purposes. Provide sufficient drainage holes.
Other uses of Dandelion
Wildflower/meadow, culinary, medicinal, ingredient for wine.
Used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, as a mild laxative, for increasing appetite, for improving digestion and as a diuretic.
The flowers are used to make dandelion wine and jam, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute.
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