Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.
– Slim Acres –
The Common Dandelion. Would you be surprised to know it is part of the Daisy family? And that at one time in Europe it was carefully cultivated because it was edible? That is why it was brought to North America by our forefathers. It was a source of food!
The leaves can be cooked or used in salads and are high in Vitamins A, C and K. The roots can be dried and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be made into wine. The seed heads are food for some birds.
At least, that is what I’ve read about dandelions. I’ve never actually tasted dandelion, until today. I found a few nice healthy plants in my flower beds – not too big, unblemished dark green leaves. I picked a few leaves, took them inside, washed them well, and bit off a mouthful… Ugh – quite bitter, really. Maybe that is because it is late in the season. I’ll try again in the spring.
Today, we think of the dandelion as a weed. How did it sink into such disgrace? I think we can blame the popularity of lush, green, lawns for that! Lawns without a single weed in them. Clearly not my grassy areas, mind you…
Now it is your turn to talk about plants we think of as weeds – Have you eaten dandelion? What are the common weeds in your part of the world that could be a good source of food?