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Dandelions – How did they get their name?

Male lions, of course, have a beautiful array of fur around their necks and head- so someone, somewhere, must have thought that this lovely little flower resembles a lion’s mane!

Many people dislike dandelions because the seed heads float into their yards and make themselves very much at home. Some people imagine that they can control what grows and what does not, and even sometimes use poison to keep some plants like dandelions away. Poison is not very good for the soil, the

bugs, or even for people.

Dandelions are wildflowers, a type of plant that does not need help from people to grow. Wildflowers are wonderfully strong  and all they need from us is to enjoy them, provide them with a wild place, and tell all our friends how important and beautiful they are. Many wildflowers, including dandelions, can be used for food and medicine.

Dandelions have a special kind of seed ball that contains individual seeds that form together with other seeds to make a perfect sphere. Each seed looks like a tiny ballerina, and when the wind floats through – each seed steps on the wind and dances through the air looking for a place to settle to make a new little plant. And, as we all know, the job of a plant is to make a flower. The job of a flower is to make a seed, and the job of of a seed is to make a brand new plant, that is the cycle.

There are different kinds of dandelion plants-some have leaves that  stay flat on the ground, some have leaves that arch up a bit and their flowers are on long slender stems. No matter what kind, they all make beautiful round seed spheres we love so much. So, when you see a beautiful, bright yellow dandelion flower, stop just for a moment and say hello and thank it for sharing its glorious color. Then when you return a bit later, you just might see that same flower has formed the seed sphere that you can gently blow to release the perfectly formed little ballerina seeds. 

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Two dandelions in shallow grass field background. Photo taken on 7th August, 2011.