The Dandelion Revolution
Did you know dandelions are bees & other pollinators
first chance for food?
Early in the Spring, when bees, butterflies, moths and pollen beetles first emerge from hibernation and start to become active, there is little to no food available - dandelions are the first consistent source they can rely on. Each flower in fact consists of up to 100 florets, each one packed with nectar and pollen.
This early blooming, easily available source of food is a lifesaver for pollinators in spring.
When chemicals are sprayed - we are destroying their chance for survival and their colonies chance, as well.
We urge you to consider not picking or spraying your dandelions this season!
Did you know that dandelions are used in herbal medicine?
In traditional Chinese and Native American medicine, dandelion root has long been used to treat stomach and liver conditions. Herbalists today believe that it can aid in the treatment of many ailments, including acne, eczema, high cholesterol, heartburn, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, weight loss, and even cancer!
- Dandelions have been around since ancient times.
- It grows all over the world and has for thousands of years and was used by the Chinese, Romans, and Greeks for medicinal purposes.
- It is believed that the dandelion was first brought to the U.S. by the Pilgrims on the Mayflower.
~ It wasn’t by accident, but because of its medicinal purposes. ~
The dandelion plant is a rich source of beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. It is also loaded full of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
It contains vitamin D, B complex vitamins, organic sodium, and even has more protein than spinach.
It's tasty too!!
Dandelions are good for your lawn.
I repeat - dandelions are GOOD for your lawn!!!
Their wide-spreading roots loosen hard-packed soil, aerate the earth and help reduce erosion.
The long taproots pull nutrients such as calcium from deep in the soil and makes them more readily available to other plants.
Do you enjoy bird watching and want more of them to visit your yard?
Goldfinches and house sparrows eat dandelion seeds!
6 Fun Facts About Dandelions
1. Their name derives from French, “Dents-de-lions,” which is in turn taken from the Latin “dens leans,” or lion’s tooth.
2. The white puffy part is called the pappus.
3. While more than 99% of dandelion seeds land within 10 yards of the parent plant, the right wind can carry a seed up to 60 miles!
4. It is native to Europe, and probably came to the United States on the Mayflower, in a medicine kit.
5. In the 1800s, girls would blow on dandelions to see whether the person they loved, loved them in return. All the seeds blown off in one breath meant the feelings were mutual.
6. In the British Isles, it is often called the “piss-a-bed” or “pish-th’bed.” In France, it’s “pissenlit.” All the nicknames are based on its diuretic properties, which increase urination — and the odds of a wet bed.
I hope you have learned something new about dandelions and will work with us to help protect wildflower habitats!
The impact one small but mighty flower can have on our ecosystem is vast.
Happy Dandelion Season!
- Chante, GM & Lead Gardener
Wild Heritage Gardens, Ltd.
Unless noted, all photos taken by Chante Ash©