Many people consider the dandelion to be a weed, yet it is the first flower source available to bees and other pollinators emerging from hibernation in the Spring. While in flower for most of the year, the dandelions peak flowering season is from late March to May.
Each flower consists of up to a 100 florets, and every one of those are packed with nectar and pollen. With this in mind, instead of waging war on dandelions, allow them to flourish and you will see a host of insects, from bumblebees, honeybees, beetles and butterflies feasting on the flowers. Also, goldfinches and house sparrows will eat the seeds so nothing is wasted.
A few interesting facts about Dandelions –
Up until the 1800s, people would actively encourage the growth of dandelions and other useful “weeds” such as malva, chamomile and chickweed. Every part of the dandelion is useful; root, leaves, flower, they can be used for food, medicine and dye for colouring.
The name dandelion is taken from the French word, “dent de lion”, meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.
The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puffball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.
The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.
Seeds are often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin!