Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dandelion doodles

Did you know, that each petal of the dandelion flower is a compete flower in itself? I didn't.

Did you know, that the beautiful blue-flowered chicory (my favorite blue) is a dandelion cousin ? I didn't. Both are in the Taraxacum genus.

Unlike some other wild ones, there are no poisonous look-alikes for dandelions. There are the tall, branched yellow-flowered wild lettuces, that many mistake for dandelions. They aren't. But they won't kill you, either. They just are really really bitter. It's the latex stuff in the milky sap. Don't eat them.

So when you see those tall multi-branched "dandelions" - they aren't real dandelions. That has been a long-standing argument among some folks. Now you are among the enlightened!

A cute little story from Wildman Steve Brill:

"Most gardeners detest them, but the more you try to weed them up, the faster they grow.
The taproot is deep, twisted, and brittle.
Unless you remove it completely, it will regenerate. If you break off more pieces than you unearth, the dandelion wins.
'What's a dandelion digger for?' a dandelion asked.
'It’s a human invention to help us reproduce,' another dandelion replied.

Some folks make dandelion wine. I can't even begin to imagine what that would taste like. I don't think I want to. I'll take my dandelion straight up. I eat the leaves raw. And the flower petals.

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