Common Dandelion

 

dandelion flower

dandelion, Credit: Ontario Nature

 Identification

  • 5 to 45 cm in height, with a long taproot
  • Rubbery stem containing a milky white liquid
  • Bright yellow flower at the end of the stalk

Location

  • Disturbed areas, roadsides, lawns, gardens and meadows

Harvesting Time

  • May to August (flowers increasingly bitter later in the season)

Uses and Related Information

  • Leaves can be eaten fresh in salads, cooked in soups and stews, or dried and used to make tea (young leaves are preferable as older leaves become bitter)
  • When roasted in the oven for several hours, the roots develop a coffee/cocoa-like flavour and when ground are good for making tea or using in baking
  • Stems can be boiled and used as a substitute for pasta
  • Flowers can be added to salads
  • Dandelion is thought to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol
  • The leaves of dandelions grown in shady areas are less bitter than the leaves of plants grown in sunny areas
  • Drying or freezing of dandelion leaves best preserves them for later use

Cautions

Avoid eating dandelions from lawns or urban landscapes on which pesticides and pollutants may have been deposited

dandelion leaves, Credit: Darya Pino CC BY 2.0dandelion bundle, credit: Daria Pino CC BY 2.0

 

 

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