Home Plants Contact Us

Dandelion

(Taraxacum officinale)

Other Names:

Text

Range:

Family:

Asteraceae Aster, daisy, Composite family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

A perennial herbaceous weed which is the bane of lawncare nuts throughout the United States.

Height:

Up to 3 ft in height

Leaves:

Deeply toothed leaves form a basal rosette.

Stem/Trunk:

Single hollow stem

Root:

A deep taproot

Flower:

Season:

Spring

Appearance:

Yellow ray flower.

Seed/Fruit:

When the flower goes to seed, it produces a round white seed cluster which readily release under a gentle breeze.

Miscellaneous characteristics:

Just about every kids has, at one time or another, picked a dandelion flower in seed, and watched the seeds scatter as they blew them free of the flower head.

Habitat:

Lawns and waste areas all over North America

Parts Used:

Leaves, Flowers, Roots

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

In the early spring, before the plant flowers, the tender young leaves can be added to salads, or used as a cooked vegetable. Once the plant flowers, most people the leaves are too bitter to eat. I however, still like the flavor they bring to salads, I have also used the leaves from spring through autumn as a cooked vegetable. The leaves are very high in Vitamin A & C. A tea made from the leaves is used as a tonic to promote general health. When dry roasted, and ground, the root is supposed to make a good coffee substitute, although I have not personally tried it. The flowers can be dipped in a batter and fried to make a tasty fritter. The flower tops can also be made into a wonderfully delicate wine. It is important to note that you must not use any of the green underside part of the flower (the sepals), as this will impart an unpleasant bitterness to your wine. It takes a while to gather enough flowers to make wine, but your work will be rewarded, as this is one of the best wines I have ever tasted.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

It is important to note that like with many other plants, just by eating dandelion, you will reap numerous health benefits. The leaves and roots have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Root tea has been used as a diuretic, and to treat ailments of the liver, gall bladder, kidney, and bladder. Dandelion has been shown effective at dissolving and eliminating urinary and biliary stones and gravel. A tea or decoction made from the leaves has also been used as a tonic to treat the liver, weak or impaired digestion, and constipation.

Medicinal Actions:

Alterative, Antacid, Antihydropic, Antilithic, Antiscorbutic, Aperient, Astringent, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Galactagogue, Hepatic, Lithotriptic, Lymphatic, Tonic.

Home Plants Contact Us

Contact Living Afield

Revised: 05/12/17 Living Afield