The dandelion is a bright yellow flower that adds vibrancy to any lawn or verge side. In recent years, for many, it has become seen as a weed. Insect numbers have declined by over 70% in recent decades, so it is time to revisit & reconnect with the facts.
‘Dent de lion’, Lions Teeth in French, identifies the dandelion’s jagged teeth that can be eaten in a salad or made into a pesto. Its root can be roasted like a turnip too.
And that troublesome taproot is actually a blessing. Breaking through the soil, the root aids water and air flow, improving water retention and helping worms do their magnificent work. The root also sucks up nutrients from deep in the soil that become available for other plants near the surface when they decompose.
Finally, the significant plight of insects and our need to protect them cannot be overstated. Dandelions are one of the first flowers to appear in late winter/early spring providing vital pollen and nectar for bumblebees and solitary bees.
Let’s cherish the dandelion and welcome it into our gardens and parks.