Wishes aren't the only thing dandelions are good for. Check out 9 surprising facts about dandelions.
- The 3 phases of a dandelion represent the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower represents the sun, the white puff ball represents the moon and the dispersing seeds represent the stars.
- The name dandelion comes from French dent-de-lion, meaning "lion's tooth" because of the pointy shape of its leaves.
- After the yellow flower blooms, the petals dry out and fall off. The bracts (pointy leaves holding up the flower) fold backward, the puffy white ball opens up and that's when you can make your wish! Check out this time lapse video, opens a new window capturing the life cycle of a dandelion.
- The pollen and nectar of dandelions are vital to early spring pollinators. Unfortunately they have recently come to be regarded as a backyard weed and are exterminated. This makes food sources for bees more scarce as they emerge from winter.
- They can be used to tell the time of day and the even the weather! Their yellow flowers close at dusk and when rain is approaching.
- Dandelions have been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years, their uses range from treating liver disease and heartburn to fever and upset stomach. They are an important part of ancient Chinese and Egyptian medicine alike.
- Everything from the flower to the leaves, all the way down to the roots, is edible and surprisingly delicious. The leaves can be enjoyed just like spinach, eaten fresh in a salad or sautéed in olive oil. The roots can be cooked the same way you'd treat carrots, and the flowers can be eaten raw or even pickled. Check out these dandelion recipes, opens a new window.
- Where did we get the idea of making a wish on dandelions? The story goes, if you blew all of the seeds of a dandelion at once, the person you loved would love you back.
- Each time you wish upon a dandelion you are sending anywhere from 54-172 seeds into the air. Each seed is viable for up to 5 years, and if the seed takes root, the plant can live up to 13 years. May all of your wishes come true!
Who knew the humble dandelion was part of so many books? For all ages.