One of the more startling cultural divides between Europeans remains their respective views on the dandelion. The dandelion was brought to market in England in the 19th century when lettuce and endive were scarce, yet many still regard the plants mostly as pests and only want to kill them. Italian, French and Greeks, however, prefer to eat them.
Dandelion may be reviled by lawn manicurists but their greens are tasty things. If you like the contrast of bitter greens like rocket in your salad, take the ‘if you can’t beat them, eat them’ approach.
Pick only the leaves of dandelions that haven’t yet flowered, the green colouring of the dandelion leaves changes from pale lime green to a darker green as the plant ages and the older leaves will be bitter. Flowers and root are also edible.
The stems of the dandelion flower are hollow and are crowned with a single yellow flower, which after a few days turns into a ghostly globe of delicate feathery seeds or, as they're correctly called in the world of botany 'achenes'.
Like Burdock, dandelions are one of the most esteemed herbs in healing. The benefits are endless, from digestive disorders to skin complaints. The dandelion family were first mentioned in China in the Tang Materia Medica back in the 7th century and has featured in just about every herbal written throughout the world since. The leaves contain more iron than spinach and are a excellent source of vitamins. Just two fresh-picked leaves give a full day’s supply of vitamin C.
|Botanical Name||Taraxacum officinale|
|Seed Packet||100 Seeds|