In Defense of Dandelions

Around here, the end of May marks the end of dandelion season. I suppose most people think of them as loathsome *weeds, but between you and me, I think there is something to be said for dandelions.

They are splendid.

What other cheerful yellow flower can flourish in the crack in the sidewalk? Or spread their seed to every continent on the planet? Not to mention centuries of use as food and medicine….

We don’t give dandelions enough credit.

And the best part? Their name! The term dandelion  comes from the French dents de lion or teeth of the lion, referring to the jagged leaves (take a look, they really do look like lion’s teeth.) Also, dandelion leaves are widely known for their medicinal use is as a diuretic, hence their other French name, pis-en-lit, which roughly translates to wet the bed.

Leave it to the French to make bed wetting sound jaunty and chic.

*While most people I know think of them as weeds, apparently, there are parts of Canada where dandelions are looked upon far more kindly than here in the US. Click here to read more info. Good stuff!

Comments

  1. says

    I adore dandilions! My chinchilla, degus, and foster hamsters love to eat the leaves and blossoms. The early leaves (before they get all toothy and prickly) are wonderful in salads, and I love to fry the heads (when yellow, the puffy ones would just be a mess) dredged in breadcrumbs, garlic and oregano. Just fry in a little olive oil and serve. SO good. I did an artists’ residency at IPARK and went dandelion hunting several times a week to feed the yummy parts to my fellow artists’ and myself. Their land was just covered in them. :)

  2. says

    They are also a tool for magic! When my humom and her sisters were children, they would pick the flowers after they turned to seed, make a wish, then blow really hard at the fuzzy seeds and if they made ALL of them fly away, their wishes would come true. Pretty neat, huh?
    Needless to say, she loves dandelions.

  3. says

    Nothing wrong with dandelions- and what is a weed, anyway? Anything I haven’t planted? Stupidness. I, too, blew on the seeds and made wishes as a kid, and if you promise not to tell- I still do.
    In Germany, there used to be a kids TV programme called “Loewenzahn”, the literal translation of dents de lion, with a dandelion as its logo, at the end of which the presenter Peter Lustig (Peter “Funny”) would always say “And don’t forget to switch off the TV!” :)

  4. says

    You guys crack me up! Never a dull moment…

    *Michelle, yup, I took the photo! Reminds me of some 70’s wallpaper mural or something

    *Scrappy rat, I have never tried frying? I’ll have to do that. I’ll fry anything. And according to that link to the Canadian article, dandelions are pretty nutrient rich. Who knew?!

  5. says

    Bokeh ‘n’ Blossoms (even weedy, spent ones) are such a perfect match!! Love your photo… thanks for sharing. I’ll spare you the knowledge of what happens to a Daring Dandy, when it tries to spread its glory on our lawn. As for frying the yellow blooms, same goes for zucchini flowers. My Italian half loves ‘em.

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