Taraxacum, widely known as Dandelion, is a large genus of more than 500 species of herbaceous perennials in the Asteraceae family, native to Eurasia.
Dandelions are immensely popular and spread all over the world, growing anywhere there is a pinch of soil. They come in various shapes and sizes, with their yellow flowers blooming all season long. These invasive weeds can occupy a variety of environments, giving them an impressive look and magical appearance!
The genus name Taraxacum comes from the Greek words “taraxos”, which means “disorder” and “akos”, meaning “remedy”.
The common name Dandelion is a corruption of the French “dent de lion”, which means “lion’s tooth”, referring to the plant’s jagged leaves.
Dandelion generally symbolizes happiness, joy and youthful thoughts, but can also symbolize health, power, perseverance, endurance and determination.
It’s also said to represent the sun’s power, good wishes, hope and prosperity.
Interesting facts about Taraxacum:
Dandelion Flying Seeds
In areas in which the plant is actively growing it can often be seen that people, usually kids blow the dried seeds of the flower, sending them into the air like tiny helicopters. They do this to attract good fortune because it’s believed that blowing the seeds away brings good luck or grants a wish. Aside from that, flying seeds are awesome and make you feel free and happy!
Are Dandelions Invasive?
Dandelion is considered as aggressive and invasive weed.
Its seeds are often carried miles away from their origin, due to their seed-bearing parachutes and ability to attract pollinators. With its deep roots, Dandelions will consume as much water as possible and dominate other species nearby. They are often resistant to many herbicides and in some cases it’s really hard to get rid of them.
The good thing about their invasive habit is that every part of this plant is useful and can be used for medicine, food and dye.
Benefits and Uses
Dandelion has been used in many traditional and modern herbal medical systems.
Both leaves and roots can be used in teas, creams and tonics. Dandelions have been used for centuries for detoxification, inflammation reduction, as a natural diuretic and antioxidant. The plant contains abundant amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, K, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, proteins, carbohydrates and beta carotene. It is effective in treating a wide variety of ailments including allergies, colds, flus, sore throats, snoring, nosebleeds, anemia, arthritis, gout, spasms and tuberculosis. It can be helpful in treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, hives, rosacea and sunburns. It also helps with flatulence, constipation, candida and indigestion.
As a food, Dandelions are valuable because they are an amazing source of nutrients. They can be harvested heavily, eaten fresh or dried for tea. All parts of the plant are edible.
The flowers are usually bright yellow, but they can be darker or even white, such as Taraxacum albidum.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
Dandelions range in height from 5 to 50 cm (2-20 inches) in height.
Although Dandelions adopt most conditions and grow everywhere, they will grow best in moist areas with fertile and well drained soil.