Thank the good people of England for Dandelions!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by robert payer, May 16, 2002.

  1. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Time to eat those yellow flowers. Yes I said eat and not treat.
    Once I had read that the British brought dandelions to North America because they were desirable for salads. Does any one have any more knowledge on this subject? Has any one tasted one of these? Are they nutritious? When did they first arrive in America. I wonder how we first got Thisle?

    Any Info. is welcome.
  2. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    You are correct, according to the USDA, Dandelions (a member of the sunflower family) are more nutritious than Broccoli or Spinach. Every part of the plant is edible. The leaves can be boiled or raw in salad, The flowers used to make wine, and the roots dried and ground to make a herbal beverage. It is also a good liver and kidney tonic.

    Only pick and eat the young plants as they get VERY bitter as they age.

    Just make sure you do not pick them from a freshly sprayed field or you may grow and extra arm or head.

    They are not a native plant to the US.

    Either is Crabgrass.

    When I hear people talk about "weed eating" I can see them in their customers lawn chowing on Dandelions.:D
  3. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Taraxacum officinale
    Some Other Names: Common Dandelion, Lion's Tooth, Priest's Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine's Snout, Dent de Lion
    Habitat: (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial herb introduced it is thought from Europe and Asia. It is now naturalized throughout the Northern Hemisphere. No one is sure exactly how the dandelion has spread so widely, and there is some debate on the origin of the plant. Cultivation: Dandelion is a very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils. It becomes quite large when cultivation, the leaves reaching a foot or more in length. Dandelion is often cultivated as an edible salad crop and as a medicinal herb plant. It is found growing in pastures, lawns, waste ground, sand, rocks, even cracks in concrete. From a thick, long, tap root, dark brown outside, white and milky white inside, grow long jaggedly toothed leaves, shiny, dark to light green and growing in the shape of a rosette close to the ground. A purplish flower-stalks rise straight from the center, it is leafless, smooth, hollow and bears a single bright golden yellow, furry looking flower which blooms almost anytime of the year. When mature the seed in the flowers heads are round and fuzzy, carried by the wind to be germinated where ever they land. Gather edible leaves and flowers anytime, roots in spring. Dry for later medicinal herb use.
    Properties: Used as medicinal and edible, the Dandelion
    Dandelions have been called “piss-a-beds” because of their strong diuretic properties.So dont eat too many

  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    The greens are very good to eat, you use them the same way you would use spinach the only thing is, once the flowers start to form the greens become bitter. Most folks pick the greens when they see the flowers and can't understand why anyone would eat them but they are very good if picked at the right time.

    I had a neighbor who would use the flowers to make dandelion wine-very good all things considered. It would be comical to see him return from a days harvest with the trunk and back seat of his Catalina filled with peach baskets full of blossoms.
  5. rixtag

    rixtag LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lehi Ut
    Messages: 280

    I personally stay away from them, the salad dressing is terrible and they are nasty. :D
    On a more serious note, my grandma has a tortise and hey will search out every last yellow flower and eat it!! I just turn him loose and a couple hours later he is full and the flowers are gone!

  6. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Check out this website:

    I know the guy who runs this site. He was a neighbor growing up - good friends of my mother's. You want real dandelion info, this is the guy to talk to. Heck, he hosts a national dandelion cook off. What more can you say?
  7. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I remember one time a few years ago, we decided to pick up carry out lunch at a place called the mustard seed market.

    So,I went ahead and got a salad, and it was about $4. But, the downside fo the price was the fact that virtually everything in the salad, I could have just went to a weed infested lawn and picked myself. It had dandelions, broadleaf, and buckhorn plantain, and a few other "weeds". It actually didn't taste bad, but I never got it again

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