Plant Folklore Dandelion

A deep green grassy area looks beautiful when it is heavily spattered with bright yellow daffodils. If any keen gardeners read this then they would certainly not echo my sentiments. The dandelion ( Taraxacum Officinale ) is a massive pest to get rid of. The dandelion multiplies at a rate of knots and the roots are so long that they are nigh on impossible to get rid of.

First of all lets talk about how the dandelion got its name. Take a close look at one of the long lush green dandelion leaves and you will clearly see that the edges look like teeth. If you can converse in French then you will already know that `dents-de-lion` translates as `the lions teeth`.

The dandelion blooms from March until the end of October. The sunshine yellow flower heads are a great attraction to the insects who come along and pollinate the dandelions. As the flower head dies back they are replaced with what is referred to as `the tock`. The dandelion tock looks like a fine ball of soft white fluff. Laying at the tips of the ball of white fluff are all the seeds awaiting their chance to be blown away on the wind. Children are fascinated by the light fluffy balls of seed and folklore states that it is possible to tell the time of day by blowing the head of the dandelion tock. However many puffs it takes to blow away all of the seed heads is then supposed to be the correct time of day.

dandelions are rich in vitamins C and A. Herbalists use dandelions to help treat many complaints including liver problems, rheumatism and constipation. Dandelions are also recognised as a very capable diuretic and because of that they inherited a nickname, they are often referred to as `Pissinlit`. The dandelion root is an excellent laxative too.

If you are a young lady and you spend some time making yourself a dandelion chain to wear around your neck then it is said that you will enjoy good luck. If you wear a chain of dandelions that someone else has made for you then no luck will come from it. If you rub a flower head on a bruise, sore spot or an abrasion the dye from the dandelion is said to have healing proprieties. Young women who wanted to find out if they were really in love could place the dandelion under their nose and lightly smell it, if love was in the air then the tip of their nose would be yellow. If the relationship was not meant to be then the dandelion would leave no mark.

Years ago young brides slotted a few dandelions into their flowers believing that the flowers could help to bring good health, a family and no shortage of wealth. Dandelions should never be picked if they are growing in a graveyard, those dandelions belong to those who lay sleeping there. One last little bit of folklore – if you have difficulty trusting the weather forecast then observe the dandelion flowers – if the flower head remains open all night long, then it could mean that rain is on the way!