Flower Friday with a Twist
The dandelion is the only flower that represents the three celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.
Dandelion is herbaceous plant that can reach 17 inches in height. Stem is hollow.
Dandelion has 2 to 10 inches long green leaves that form a rosette at the base of the stem. Leaves are toothed at the edges.
Dandelion has yellow-orange flower that consists of large number of individual, miniature flowers known as ray florets. Flower opens at dawn and closes at night.
Different types of insects pollinate dandelion. Yellow flower turns into puff ball that consists of large number of fruits called achenes. Seed of dandelion has disk-like extension that acts like a parachute and facilitates dispersal by wind.
Seed can travel 5 miles before it finally reaches the ground.
Name dandelion originates from French words "dent de lion" which mean lion's tooth. This name is given because of deeply toothed leaves of dandelion.
Dandelion is rich source of vitamins A, C and K. It also contains high level of iron, calcium and potassium. Dandelion is used mainly in Asian cuisine, often as an ingredient of salads and sandwiches.
Dandelion can be used in the production of wine and root beer. Root of dandelion can be used as a substitute for coffee.
Dandelion is used in folk medicine to treat infections and liver disorders.
Animals such as birds, insects and butterflies consume nectar or seed of dandelion.
Dandelion is useful in gardens because it improves quality of the soil by increasing the content of nitrogen and other minerals.