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Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Blowball, Lion's-tooth, Cankerwort, Milk-witch, Yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, Monks-head, Priest's-crown, Puff-ball (Eng.) , 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.

Geography

Origin
Europe and North America.
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, 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.

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