Where to start when it comes to dandelion, Taraxacum officinale? Due to the milder climate, this plant flowers almost all year round nowadays, brightening up many lawns.
In addition to the obvious aesthetic advantages, there is another plus. Dandelion is indispensable food for many insects, including butterflies, bumblebees and bees. That alone is a reason to cherish this plant. It is a pity that many people consider dandelion a weed.
They might change their minds when they hear what else this modest but mighty plant can do. It sure has plenty of medicinal properties. For example, dandelion has several beneficial effects on the digestive system and related organs. It detoxifies via multiple routes. In addition, this plant is rich in some interesting minerals that help, among other things, with building bone back up.
Dandelion has many magical properties. It helps with all kinds of eye issues, including your third eye. Dandelion stimulates your divinatory qualities. You can even send messages and make wishes come true with the help of this plant. Should all of this be insufficient to convince you of dandelion’s worth, there is always the fact that it can provide highly nutritious food during a large part of the year.
Dandelion stands on a sturdy, succulent taproot that can grow up to a metre long. Directly above the root we find a rosette of lanceolate, runcinate leaves. The leaf margins are serrated and lobed and sometimes even entire.
The stem is hollow, unbranched and smooth, with at its end a solitary capitulum with numerous warm yellow ray florets. The flower is 3 to 4 cm in diameter. After flowering, a seed head is formed containing ribbed achenes with pappi on long beaks. The plant contains latex.
Dandelion has many subspecies, all of which have an equivalent effect.
Western medicine discovered dandelion relatively late, even though it has been in Europe for a long time.
Dandelion has many folk names, not only in Dutch, but also in other languages. I was told that in German there are no less than five hundred different names for this plant.
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