Friday, April 25, 2008

Dandelions ~ A Bad Wrap!



A lot of us welcome Spring with open arms, but for the most part folks are very
unappreciative of the yellow dandelion sprouting throughout their yards. Hundreds of dandelions can make a perfect yard enthusiast pull out their hair literally by the roots. Yet the dandelion is a perfect yellow spring flower, adding tiny bits of the sun to green landscapes. I remember as a child along with my little friends, picking these yellow dollops and rubbing the yellow flower pollen to our wrists to see if we liked butter. Of course we all liked butter! Also when my sisters and I would build our little tent houses, we would always have a huge stash of dandelion flower food in our pretend pantry.

Talk about food, dandelions are a great source of vitamin A, C, Iron, and calcium. The greens can be boiled or saute, and dressed with garlic, beacon, vinegar or butter. White sap from stem and roots have been used to treat warts. Flowers are made into dandelion wine, or jam. Dandelions are an important part of the ecosystem by attracting ladybugs, which in turn eat pest aphids. When dandelion plants die off, their long roots naturally fertilize the soil.

So maybe before we spend hundreds of dollars to eliminate dandelions, we might want to take a closer look at all the wonderful benefits this yellow faceted flower has to offer!

©Jo A. True-Burkholder 2008

Resources:

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides NCAP:
http://www.pesticide.org/dandelions.html

Dandelion ~ Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion

10 comments:

Lisa said...

Yay for dandelions! We don't seem to get many in Northern California, not like I remember as a kid in Iowa - my Dad going nuts when they'd pop up all over his lawn! I eat the greens when I can find them at the market - a great tonic for the liver. I like your new photo of the tulips for your blog header. Lovely.

ochikeron said...

Hello jo!
Nice dandelions!
I used to play with those when I was a child.
But now, I don't see them around me, or maybe I am not seeing them.
Yes! I once read that the dandelions are edible.
Thanks for reminding me of it!

Jo said...

Thanks Lisa,

Too bad you don't live close, I have so many here in the county!
I like spinich, but can't bring myself to eat dandelion greens. My mom used to eat buchoy, I'm not even sure how to spell it. I'm glad you like the photo, my newphen left chalk marks on the sidewalk!

Jo said...

Hello Ochi,

Dandelions are very abundant here, my nephew loves to pick them from my yard. I think we are expecting a freeze this week, the bugs are already coming out. A rude awakening to the night chills of 30! Thanks for stopping!

pepektheassassin said...

I love dandelions, but apparently I, like you, am a sunflower!

I have a glass full of dandelions brought to me by my grandson on my kitchen table at this very moment.

Jo said...

Awe P,

My daughter used to bring me dandelions too! The best flowers are the ones given by our little ones! I took a different flower test, and I am a snapdragon. I always liked the stunning sunflower. :)

ozymandiaz said...

dandilions don't detract
but bidens bite

Jo said...

Hi Ozzy,

Hardly a flower I don't like, even the cactus flower! cheerio :)

ochikeron said...

Hello jo!
Nice butterfly picture!
You changed the header image ;)
I am always interested to read your blog about nature & animals.
You know what, I recently ate new spring vegetables. Hard to explain, but we have many seasonal wild vegetables in Japan. They all have strange taste, but that is good in some ways :)

Jo said...

Hi Ochi,

Thank you. I was surprised the butterfly let me get so close to her! I never saw one like this one with the white on edges and purple dots! I remember my mom buying greens here, they were like bitter tasting. She would prepare with soysauce and other vegetables, ending up being very good!

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