All About Dandelions

Feb 2, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The common name dandelion is derived from the French phrase dent de lion – lion’s tooth, referring to the deeply serrated leaves of some species, including the one we most commonly see – Taraxacum officinale. For thousands of years, different cultures have used this plant as a nutritional food source or for medicinal purposes. It’s a strong diuretic which gives rise to the name wet-a-bed. After the seeds are set, the blossom turns into a white puff ball with wind-catching structures for dispersal called pappus.  When I was little, we called dandelion seed head “tell times.” Our parents said if we blew them, counting the number of seeds left attached would tell us the time. I must say, it was a pretty unreliable time piece but still fun. Dandelions are here to stay, we might as well try to find ways to enjoy them.