With Spring fast approaching, I have been in a somewhat more floral mood, which leads me to this little flower that soon every gardener will be trying to remove from their lawns: the dandelion.
The humble dandelion is a simple yet beautiful flower that is maligned only for its propensity to spread very quickly, as its seed head has the ability to start many other plants. In many parts of the world, this plant is cultivated. The name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, which translates to lion’s tooth; the dandelion leaf has a resemblance to lion’s teeth.
Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion is used as a herbal remedy in Europe, North America, and China. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic.
The flower petals, along with other ingredients, usually including citrus, are used to make dandelion wine. The ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion was also traditionally used to make the traditional British soft drink dandelion and burdock, and is one of the ingredients of root beer. Also, dandelions were once delicacies eaten by the Victorian gentry, mostly in salads and sandwiches.
Dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C, and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Overall, the lowly dandelion is a good little plant, except when it disturbs the green of your lovely lawn!
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and an EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens . Exposure settings were f/7.1 at 1/125 second with ISO 400.