Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is probably one of the most wel known weeds. Its name comes from the French ‘Dent de Lion’ which means ‘Lion’s Tooth’ which is represented by the deeply toothed green leaves that the plant produces which are arranged in a rosette.
The iconic yellow flower is grown from a hollow stalk and the seed heads are familiar as the ‘Dandelion clock’. There are other names of which this plant is known by and these include ‘wet-the-bed’ and ‘pissy-beds’ as it was commonly believed that touching the plant would make you wet yourself.
Dandelion is also known as the Common Dandelion. It is often found in gardens, roadsides and disturbed banks. Although this plant is classed as a weed, especially when it is found in gardens, it can sometimes be used as a medical herb and can be used in food. This plant produces more than one stem at a time, and can produce as many as 10, that are typicaly around 5 – 40 cm in height, but can also reach a maximum of 70 cm tall. The stem can sometimes have a slight purple tint, the foliage can grow upright and spread horizontally.
The stem itself can be covered in short hairs, with each flowering stem only producing one single flower at a time. The leaves of a Dandelion can reach between 4 – 45 cm long and 1 – 10 cm wide. They are oval shaped and the base narrowing to the petiole.
Height: 5 -45cm
Flowering Time: April – May
Preferred Conditions: Found in a wide range of habitats and is tolerant to many types of soil.