Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Blowball, Lion's-Tooth, Cankerwort, Milk-Witch, Yellow-Gowan, Irish Daisy, Monks-Head, Priest's-Crown, Puff-Ball , Perdeblom (Afr.)

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Easy to grow and easy to enjoy, the Dandelion with its green foliage and yellow flowers is a multipurpose plant that will grow almost anywhere, brighten up your garden, attract birds and insects of all kinds and prove to be useful in a variety of ways. The showy flowers, and indeed the whole plant has been and is still used in a variety of culinary and medicinal applications.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

The leaves are best harvested when the plant is young and tender (and less bitter). You can harvest the greens throughout the growing season. Roots can be harvested in the fall of the second year of growth. Pull the entire root from the ground and avoid breakage.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed in spring in a cold frame. Sow seed onto an all-purpose compost in deep pots, to accommodate the roots, or straight onto open soil.

Division

Divide in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Cuttings

Bits of roots remaining in the soil will grow into a new plants.

Special features

Repels harmful insects

The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent.

Attracts useful insects

Insects such as butterflies, bees and moths enjoy visiting the bright yellow flowers.

Pot plant

Can be grown in a large container in order to prevent it from spreading, but also for aesthetic purposes. Provide sufficient drainage holes.

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Special features

Origin

Europe and North America.

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Compost, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

Used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, as a mild laxative, for increasing appetite, for improving digestion and as a diuretic.

Edible

The flowers are used to make dandelion wine and jam, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute.

Personality

Family

Asteraceae

Flower colour

Yellow

Scent

None

Problems

Generally pest and and disease free.