Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
|Status||Green - Least concern|
|Best Time to See||March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October|
'Shining like guineas with the sun's warm eye on,We almost think they are gold as we pass,Or fallen stars in a green sea of grass.’ - John Clare, “A Rhapsody”
Familiar and common plants, their bright yellow blooms can look quite exotic en masse, and the fluffy seed heads delicate and ethereal. They are not a single species, but hundreds of very similar microspecies.
How to spot it
Bright yellow discs of tightly packed florets above a rosette of jaggedly toothed leaves are followed by fluffy white seed heads.
Where it grows
Dandelions mostly occur in disturbed habitats such as pastures, roadside verges, lawns, tracks, paths and waste ground.
Best time to see
In flower from March to October
In the Language of Flowers dandelion stands for faithfulness and happiness.
How's it doing?
Appears to be widespread and stable throughout the British Isles.
3 things you might not know
- The name is derived from the French ‘dent de lion’ as the jaggedly toothed leaves were thought to resemble the teeth in a lion’s jaw.
- Dandelion is said to be one of the five bitter herbs that the Jews were required to eat during the Feast of Passover. A favourite food of pet rabbits and guinea pigs, dandelion leaves may also be added to salads to add an extra, slightly bitter flavour.
- During the Second World War, when coffee was almost unobtainable, a substitute was made from the roasted and ground roots of dandelions.