Food / Random Musings

In Defense of Dandelions

My family and I live in the suburbs, which means we are Lawn Care Masters. Or at least we’re supposed to be. With lawns mowed to just the right height at regular intervals. Grass watered so it stays green and not brown. Trimmed edges. And, by golly, NO dandelions.

But I always wonder why dandelions are so bad in the first place?

1.) Look at how cheerful they are!

Dandelions in a field

So bright and yellow and sunny! (Image by Joe Schlabotnik on Flickr)

Little yellow flowers dotting a field of green–a carpet of color. Some people pay really good money to get this kind of color in their flowerbeds, and yet we pull, dig-out, and spray nasty chemicals on the flowers that grow for free in our lawn. Yes, I called them flowers.

2.) If it weren’t for Dandelions, I wouldn’t get nearly so many flowers as gifts from my kids.

dandelion

This is the first flower my son picked for me. Perhaps my favorite flower of all time.

Come on! When a toddler stumbles toward you with a fistful of dandelions saying, “Fwowers fo you, mama!”, your heart melts. Unless you are totally made of stone, that is. If we get rid of all the dandelions in the yard, how will I ever get flowers from my kids?

Plus, let’s just add to the honesty here, it keeps them from picking the flowers in the garden. Isn’t it nicer for me to say, “Oh! Thank you so much, I love them!” than it is to say, “Oh no! We don’t pick Mommy’s daffodils.” Help me be the nice mom here! Let the dandelions stay!

3.) Survival of the fittest, yo!

I mean, is it really the dandelion’s fault it can grow anywhere, multiply like crazy, and crowd out everything else? Just because it’s hardier than any other non-naturally occurring plant we want to keep? That’s like hating the Yankees just because they beat everyone else. Oh wait…

4.) They’re edible.

Greens

Those leafy things in the red circle? Dandelion greens. And you can totally make a salad out of them. (Original image [minus the circle] by Keira on Flickr)

So just think about it: Come the Zombie Apocalypse, there aren’t going to be grocery stores. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you could sustain yourself on the weeds growing right in your very own backyard? That’s so Man vs. Wild. So bad ass. So…probably not possible unless you have a huge yard and store up for over the winter…BUT in theory you’d have at least a few days advantage. And, according to the Leaf Lady, dandelions rank in the top 4 among leafy greens for nutrition. And apparently they have the power to cure all kinds of diseases. Yeah. I know. Take THAT big pharma!

5.) Entertainment

Dandelion seeds

Make a wish! (Image by LifeSupercharger on Flickr)

Who doesn’t remember picking a dandelion after it had turned to fluff, making a wish, and blowing the seeds away? Sure, you probably gave your parents and neighbors more weeding work, but it was fun! And that’s what matters. Sadly, Steven Adams never did ask me out in the fourth grade, so my wishes didn’t work. But whatever. I was in the FOURTH grade. What did I need a boyfriend for anyway?


You can tie dandelions together and make necklaces. You can rub them on your friend’s arm and leave a yellow mark and make a crude joke about dandelion pee ( That’s elementary comedy GOLD). You can put them behind your ear and look all flower child-ish. So much good stuff!

So SAVE THE DANDELIONS! These hard-working, under appreciated, weeds flowers deserve more respect. Plus, it’s a royal pain to pull them and I’d like to avoid it if possible. Bring me another lemonade so I can relax, please!

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10 thoughts on “In Defense of Dandelions

  1. Plus if you dry, then roast the roots, they can be ground and brewed into a beverage that tastes a lot like coffee.

  2. I’ve lost track of how many “bouquets” I’ve already gotten this year from my daughter. My son usually grabs the fluff off them and hands it to me. 🙂

  3. I am with you on every single one of these reasons (note we share 1) laziness, and 2) fear of the zombie apocalypse). I will add: when the fluffy white-headed dandelions are wet in the rain they take on a whole new gorgeous persona…check them out next time.

  4. I love the extra-large double-headed dandelions that the boys find and give to me! I’ll have to take a pic next time. 🙂

    Heaven forbid a white-headed one makes it home, though — it’s not pretty watching a grown man tackle a child to prevent the deposit of the seeds in OUR yard. Scary! LOL

  5. We were recently traveling through a large farming area and the fields that had yet to be plowed for the purposes of planting were absolutely covered in dandelions, and we realized that we could purchase one of these fields and just harvest the dandelions each year! It would be way cheaper than buying all sorts of fancy farming equipment and seeds and junk.

    Then on the way back home there was a small town advertising the upcoming “Dandelion Festival”. We figured that it was code for “It’s easier than weeding”.

    For what it’s worth, I also think they look nice.

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