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
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides NCAP: http://www.pesticide.org/dandelions.html
Dandelion ~ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion