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The Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

The dandelion is generally regarded as a pest, or weed, in any typical lawn or garden. So many people know about them, but do not really know too much of the details when it comes to this pretty yellow plant. So let's check out what more we can learn about them.

Physical Description

The Dandelion is generally surrounded by long leaves. A stalk rises from the middle and holds a yellow flower. While we generally know them as being small, they can grow out to be fairly large. Their leaves can be from 2 to 18 inches long, and even upwards of 4 inches wide. A single Dandelion can produce up to 10 stems, all holding their own flower.

They spread their seeds by growing a feathery bud on the top of each seed, attached by its own small stem. They are either transported via animals running into them or by being blown off by the wind. A single plant can release upwards of 20,000 seeds.

The interesting thing is that pretty much every part of the dandelion is edible. The leaves, the flower, etc, can all be eaten, and some people do this. Some people are even known to roast the roots and use them as an alternative to coffee. Just without all that precious caffeine. Now, this does not mean that they taste very good, but they can provide some nutrients and can be eaten and digested.

Habitat and Location

While some subspecies of this plant were native to the US, many were introduced here has a food crop. In fact, this plant is so widespread, that you will be hardpressed to find a place that this little guy does not reproduce. So these guys can grow in pretty much any kind of habitable environment.

Check out this awesome video all about this fascinating little weed

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