16 Comments

The Undesirable Wildflower

It is spring in the U.S and millions of acres of manicured lawns are greening up yet much to the disdain of homeowners billions of yellow dandelions litter the green landscape. People spend millions of dollars and countless hours attempting to rid their lawns of these intrusive “weeds”.

However, this wildflower was not aways an unwanted pest. It was a highly regarded wildflower in Europe where it was treasured for its medicinal uses, nutritional value and aesthetic beauty. Colonists brought this plant with them when they came to the Americas because they viewed dandelions as a valuable plant not a weed.

Dandelions are also prized by bees, butterflies and other pollinators for its sweet nectar. Examining dandelion flowers in my Maryland daughter’s yard, I see honey bees buzzing from one flower to another to sip its nectar. Deer, rabbits and other herbivores eat this nutritious “weed” and many birds will feast on its seeds.

You my feel cursed by this plant, but as far as wildlife are concerned it is a blessing.

16 comments on “The Undesirable Wildflower

  1. We live in the country and our lawn is well populated with these cheery yellow flowers. We do not do anything to remove them and if there is drought they remain green after the grass has gone to toast.

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  2. Dandelion roots reach downwards of 12 inches so it is not surprising that they are drought resistant. I’m sure yo are hosts to countless species of bees and butterflies!

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  3. Lovely photos, Gary, and an informative post! In SW Florida, we have a tiny pink-flowered weed in our lawns that is very attractive to bees. Since we don’t use pesticides, we have many interesting “weeds” and many bees, butterflies, and other insects.

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  4. Thanks. My daughter’s Maryland yard is also full of beautiful blue violets some of which grow alongside the dandelions. There are a few others that I have yet to identify.

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  5. I’ve always liked them, and never have figured out what the fuss is about them. And it’s a lot of fun to blow those little helicopter seeds in the air.

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  6. They look so beautiful…wild beauties!! Don’t you think it is better to leave them as it is?!

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  7. I live in Texas now but was brought up in Europe. The French refer to Dandelions as Pissenlit which translates to wetting the bed. Dandelion was well known as a diuretic. I have tried Dandelion Tea but it tastes awful!! Great post and thank you for the follow.

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  8. In South Africa tortoises love snacking on the flower

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  9. I LOVE dandelions! And they are all over my lawn. I would not think of getting rid of them. LOL

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  10. That ‘wildflower’ is annually celebrated in a festival set in Carbondale, CO (this year on May 14). Sure bees and other pollinators enjoy its sweet nectar but I’ve heard dandelion wine is pretty tasty for humans too. 😉

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