It's probably worth noting that the Japanese don't eat their native white dandelion but eat the common dandelion instead. Dandelions are thought to have originated in Europe and Asia where humans have cultivated them for hundreds of years. 2. The weed we curse is T. officinale, from Europe.) For example, many consider the UK native dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) to be a weed, since their plants spread quickly and can be difficult to remove. Advertisement. Dandelions contain anti-oxidant vitamins, minerals, calcium, as well as protein, and would have been a food staple for our ancestors here in Europe. At this time of year we are bombarded with TV adverts about how dandelions are going to destroy your lawn and driveway. Dandelion can survive tillage through regeneration of root fragments but ploughing may bury the roots deep enough to prevent emergence. However as I’m sure you know dandelions don’t actually need insects to propagate through cross pollination. I try to leave any in my garden or pots now. The Scottish Wildlife Trust is a Scottish registered charity (charity number SC005792). One of the champions of these corridors is undoubtedly the humble dandelion. 110 Commercial St There’s a whole host of recipes that use the dandelion flowers; teas, wines, salads and savouries. Parts Used For … (Well, there is a Taraxacum californicum, a California native, but it is actually endangered. Seedlings that emerge in spring may flower in their first year. Dandelions are an important source of food for wildlife. There’s something here for all ages to enjoy. Jack Wallington. It is a weed of perennial horticultural crops and gardens and may also be a problem in some annual crops, particularly where reduced tillage is practiced. Take a closer look at Scotland’s wildlife, Visit our wildlife reserves and visitor centres, Dandelions the most undervalued wild flower. These balls are usually called "clocks" in both British and American English. Dandelions can supply food to a number of different pollinators including bumblebees, butterflies, hover flies, day flying moths and solitary bees. Dandelions are native to Eurasia, but have been introduced to North America, South America, India (where it hadn't reached naturally), Australia, New Zealand and probably anywhere else where Europeans, the people, have migrated. Dandelion is eaten readily by sheep but is relatively low yielding as forage. Edinburgh Green veined white butterfly on a dandelion – Andy Wakelin. This is no small matter as we need our pollinators to pollinate many of our fruits and vegetables. It has been found in prehistoric deposits, and is recorded up to 2,700 ft in Britain. Clump of leaves growing from a single or multiple point. The common dandelion is actually a variety of forms or 'microspecies' and there are also a number of other dandelion species, so identification can be tricky. It was known as lion's tooth in other Latin based languages in Europe, too, so the English corruption may have evolved separately numerous times.It's scientific name is Taraxacum officinale. Nematodes can infest it too. Viable seeds have been found in cattle and horse droppings. Established plants that bloom in spring can flower again in autumn. Therefore these mobile colonies of bees are becoming big business and sadly essential. Dandelion-and-burdock is a popular fizzy drink made in the north of England. A perennial with a stout taproot, dandelion is abundant everywhere but prefers chalks and loamy soils above pH 7.0. Instead their flowers develop into seeds, creating the dandelion clocks that I used to play with as a child. Taraxacum is found throughout the British Isles and over 200 microspecies has been identified. The common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver-tufted fruits that disperse in the wind. Even small fragments of root left after plants are pulled may regenerate but thicker root pieces regrow better than thin ones. Whilst there haven’t been many clear and concise studies carried out on the health benefits of dandelions (probably because there isn’t any money in things that grow freely! Just think of all the bees and butterflies you could sit and observe on a sunny day. Native to many temperate parts of the world, they are found growing in gardens, parks, lawns, roadsides, waysides, meadows, fields, orchards and woodlands. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a reference to what either name means or why it changed. Dandelions didn't blow across the ocean or stow away on ships to get to North America; they were brought here and cultivated by early settlers. There is a growing need for people to recognise that our pollinators, and in particular our honey bees are coming under threat of extinction. Dandelions (Taraxacum spp) can spread quickly via seed to colonise freshly cultivated soil, and are able to survive in compacted soil in lawns. There is a growing need for people to recognise that our pollinators, and in particular our honey bees are coming under threat of extinction. Wood avens. Go wild in June with our 30 days wild challenge, Emma Castle-Smith                                                                                                                                  Montrose Basin Visitor Centre Assistant Manager. Through campaigning, advice, community work and research, our aim is to get everyone growing ‘the organic way’. Each mature flowerhead produces approximately 180 wind-dispersed, seedlike achenes. Special thank you to Neil Bromhall for allowing  us to use this excellent timelapse footage. Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called "dandelion"), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae).. We have been championing the incredible diversity of Scotland’s wildlife for over 50 years; from lichens, wood ants and butterflies, to golden eagles, basking sharks and beavers. Its scientific name is Taraxacum, a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Leaves and I'm seeing a few different dead-nettles. They are an invasive species in some areas. Dandelions are exotic, which is to say, they are not native to North America. Meaning the flower doesn’t suffer or gain anything from its relationship with the insect, but the insect gains something positive. Cultured dandelions. \"Dandelion\" is an English corruption of the French name for this plant: \"dent de lion\" meaning \"lion's tooth\", a reference to the tooth-like serrations on the plant's leaves. Seed in soil has a half-life of 3 months. Dandelion tough roots that must be dug out - if you really really don't want them but it is useful for bees, especially early when other flowers are not in bloom. Preferring moist, grassy places and disturbed sites, dandelions occur from sea level to subalpine elevations. Seedlings emerge mainly from March to October with a flush of seedlings appearing in March-April and just odd seedlings at other times. It has a rosette of leaves at the base of the plant; a deep taproot; a smooth, hollow stem; and a solitary yellow flower head composed only of … Dandelion root can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. It is commonly found in meadows, pastures, waste ground and road verges. Other names for dandelion … Seedlings have been raised from the droppings of various birds. The perennial dandelion grows freely wherever it can find a bit of earth and a place in the sun. What’s so wrong with an over grown lawn or a road verge full of weeds? Dandelion, weedy perennial herb of the genus Taraxacum of the family Asteraceae, native to Eurasia but widespread throughout much of temperate North America. The typical “wild type” dandelion has a rosette of toothed leaves originating from a central growing point or crown at the ground level of the soil. For certain crops, pollination is necessary for the fruit to develop and grow. – leave only pawprints, My experience as a Visitor Centre Assistant at Montrose Basin, Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now, Harbourside House is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 2 The leaves of the plant are considered to be very nutritious and can be eaten as a salad or fresh vegetable. Heated and served with milk it is amazing (and far more nutritious than regular coffee)! Registered office: Harbourside House, 110 Commercial Street, Edinburgh EH6 6NF. Dandelion is common in pastures, lawns, orchards, hay fields, waste ground and roadsides. All parts of both species are edible. Dandelion overwinters as a small rosette of leaves. Individual plants may survive for 10 to 13 years in undisturbed sites. 36 Common Garden Weeds: Your A to Z Guide - Practical Home UK Our work to save Scotland’s wildlife is made possible thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters. In fact, the widely-hated ragwort topped the list in nectar level and trounced the perennials in the study. Symptoms. The plant is one of our most nutritious weeds here in the UK. Our charity brings together thousands of people who share a common belief - that organic growing is essential for a healthy and sustainable world. Taraxacum pseudoroseum is not a native of the UK, but in its homeland, central Asia, it is not uncommon. Of course valuing dandelions as an essential food source and not an ugly common weed can’t be the only way to solve the decline in our bee populations but it is something that everyone can do. His website www.rightplants4me.co.uk is available to help with plant ID. My book Wild about Weeds looks at the wildlife value of many weeds I feel are some of the most beautiful, concentrating on how to integrate these wild flower wonders into stylish gardens – it’s a design book. Ripe seed is able to germinate at once and gives around 90% germination. Seed stratified in soil overwinter will give 100% germination in the light or in the dark. As a wind dispersed species, dandelion is often associated with zero tillage systems. The germination of seeds in close proximity to each other may be inhibited. When bees, butterflies, and other pollinators … The taxonomy of the dandelion is very complex. Seeds are killed by storage at 27 °C with 80% humidity. The time from flowering to seed ripening is about 9-12 days. Historically, Europeans brought dandelions to America as a food crop but now it is considered to be one of the most annoying weeds plaguing the suburban lawn. These seeds are an exact replica of the parent plant and use the wind to disperse. The leaves of the common dandelion are lobed and spoon-shaped, and the stem exudes a milky white sap if it is broken. In established plants, the taproot contracts to keep the apical growing point of the rosette of leaves beneath the soil surface. It can be both a pioneer species on freshly disturbed soil and a longer-term constituent of established vegetation. Seeds have been recovered from irrigation water and can survive submergence for 9 months. The orientation of fragments can influence survival. The time of year can also affect regeneration. Medicinally, dandelion roots and leaves were used as a tonic to remove toxins from the bloodstream, acting as a gentle diuretic to improve the function of the digestive system. Eat dandelions? Dandelion seeds are wind dispersed and may travel up to 500 m from the parent. What’s so wrong with an over grown lawn …, Montrose Magpies – a wildlife perspective, Dog-walking in wildlife (or not!) The dandelion (Taraxacum officiniale) is actually a type of daisy, part of the Asteraceae family. Nevertheless, look for the familiar yellow flower heads displaying closely packed florets (tiny flowers). A period of low temperature seems to intensify flowering but daylength does not have a great influence. If it was a visibility issue then that makes sense but if that’s not an issue then why not let the vegetation grow? Join today from just £3 a month to help protect the species you love. Whether you choose to volunteer, donate, raise funds or leave a legacy to the Trust, your help will make a real difference to our work protecting Scotland’s wildlife. The dandelion is known for its distinctive three to twelve inch long leaves with a well defined tooth, the yellow head, composed of hundreds of individual rays, and the fluffy round white seed head, which is easily blown away and dispersed by the wind. The fibrosity index is low compared with ryegrass. The Persians originally called the herb tarashquq around 900 A.D. Around 100 years later, they called it Taraxcum. Eating Dandelions Storing Dandelion Greens . Japanese white dandelions are native to southern Japan … In the laboratory, germination is stimulated by light, nitrate and alternating temperatures. The plant can carry economically important viruses some of which are seed borne. Many flowers focus even more strongly on producing just one or the other. Dandelion leaves provide winter food for pigeons. 298104) and Scotland (SC046767). Overemphasis on pollen misses the value of dandelions. A flower head can produce up to 400 seeds but the average is 180. Dandelion Varieties. Seed can blow in from surrounding gardens, fields and waste-ground. A UK study of meadow pollen and nectar production found that “weeds”, including dandelions, are very valuable source of early season nectar. 1 Dandelion root has also traditionally been used to make a coffee substitute. The decided to stop in Chelmsford, which is north-west of Sudbury to get gas and stumbled across a large patch of dandelions on the corner of a strip mall. There are about 100 species of dandelion, and all are beneficial. The roots are best in the late summer through late fall. In the UK we are heading in that direction and if we all just took the opportunity to sit in the garden and not mow the lawn we might all be better for it in the long run. Whether it goes by the name dandelion, cankerwort, puffball or lion's tooth, the hundreds of plants in the genus Taraxacum typically have a bad reputation with gardeners. The patch was bordered by a parking lot and plaza as well as two major roadways, but proved to be a buffet of pollen for quite a few bumble bees. Cutting individual plants below ground with a blade may not be successful because any portion of the root that remains can sprout and a cluster of new shoots often develops. Dandelion reproduces both vegetatively and from seed. The flowers are a rich nectar source for insects and the seeds are eaten by many bird species. Dandelion is common in pastures, lawns, orchards, hay fields, waste ground and roadsides. If buried, a few seeds may still remain viable at the end of 5 years. 10 native UK weeds to grow for wildlife. (T. officinale, T. vulgare). In the past a tool called a ‘dandelion grubber’ was used to remove the roots completely. Green veined white butterfly on a dandelion – Andy Wakelin. 5. The younger ones are fresher and less bitter. |Herb bennet. Dandelion's common name is derived fr… Regeneration and survival of root fragments is lowest at the time of maximum flowering. The flower head or capitulum of a dandelion is actually made up of lots of individual flowers known as florets or ray flowers. My biggest spring bugbear is when councils and home owners insist on cutting road verges. OK, let's get one of the most pressing aspects of Dandelion biology out of the way first, their name. It is also a company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland (registered number SC040247). Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), was named after the French dent de lion, meaning lion’s tooth, which refers to its toothed leaves. October 16, 2020. However, dandelion flowers are an important source of food for bees and other pollinators early in the season, as they are one of the earlier-flowering species. Expert gardeners at online retailer BillyOh.com have rounded up the worst offenders – some of which are so hard to regulate they're actually illegal to plant in the UK. 1. The Scottish Wildlife Trust are currently running a campaign to Save our bees by urging the Scottish Government to recognise that neonicotinoid insecticides are harmful to our pollinators. It has been found in prehistoric deposits, and is recorded up to 2,700 ft in Britain. This European native has become a tenacious farm and … Persecuted by many as an invasive weed, most people don’t seem to understand its true value. The long taproot renders eradication by hoeing a slow and difficult process. Most seedlings emerge in the first 2 years after seed has been shed. EH6 6NF. Cut down flower stems do not produce any viable seed. Each have stamen with pollen, nectar and a single petal. Dandelions can be picked during the spring season for eating. CLOSE Know what you are looking for? Dandelion, weedy perennial herb of the genus Taraxacum of the family Asteraceae, native to Eurasia but widespread throughout much of temperate North America. It can be both a pioneer species on freshly disturbed soil and a longer-term constituent of established vegetation. Dandelion Varieties. Dandelion pollen isn’t particularly nutritious, compared to that of clover and vetches, but it’s available when little else is about. Dandelions grow virtually in every part of the United States as long as there is sunshine. Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has many names including blowball, faceclock, dumble-dor (Newfoundland) and pissenlit (Québec). The dandelion was known to the world long before written history. Dandelion flowers from May to October but most profusely in May and June. Though they’re non-native to North America (originally hailing from Europe), dandelions are not considered invasive by federal agencies. Dandelions are sprouting up all around Manitoba while city officials and homeowners try to find ways to deal with the yellow blooms. Yes, and the nice thing is that 100% of the dandelion is edible! The plants have some nutritive value in pasture and are relatively high in calcium, nitrogen, copper and iron. The deep taproot is difficult to extract manually. However, it is recommended to pick dandelions from the areas free from pollutants and chemicals. There are many varieties of dandelion which include the rare Californian dandelion, the rubber producing Russian dandelion and the white Japanese dandelion. dandelions usually have toothed leaves but some don't (there are loads of different ones of which I'm just learning) Dead-nettle. A plant may have a total of 2,000 to 12,000 seeds. Use these quick links to find what you want faster... At this time of year we are bombarded with TV adverts about how dandelions are going to destroy your lawn and driveway. From major species and landscape projects to managing wildlife reserves, education work and campaigning for nature, we protect Scotland’s wildlife for the future. Rosette-forming perennial with rounded leaf tips. In pasture, seedling emergence is greater when seed predation is prevented. Taraxacum Spp. Every effort should be made to prevent dandelion flowering and seeding. Click the links to find out how you can help. 3. Two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ) is a common meadow herb of the Asteraceae or sunflower family. The most familiar species is T. officinale. Readers have asked me a lot about the best native weeds for wildlife, which I could write about at … A UK native wildflower species is one which is naturally found in the UK, rather than a species which has been introduced from somewhere else, usually by humans. This sun-loving beauty is a native of Greece, naturalized in temperate regions throughout the world, and familiar to nearly everyone. The genus is native to Eurasia and North America, but the two commonplace species worldwide, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, were introduced from Europe and now propagate as wildflowers. In fact, the widely-hated ragwort topped the list in nectar level and trounced the perennials in the study. With continuous flowering through spring and summer, each floret provides pollen and nectar and therefore a near continuous supply of food for visiting insects. It can, however, also be found in more northern regions of North America. A few plants that resemble dandelions, including false hawksbeard and dwarf dandelion (distantly related) but only dandelion has a … Whether it goes by the name dandelion, cankerwort, puffball or lion's tooth, the hundreds of plants in the genus Taraxacum typically have a bad reputation with gardeners. So the relationship between the dandelion and the pollinators it supports is a positive neutral relationship, named commensalism. Taraxacum are native to Eurasia, and have been widely introduced to North and South America and other continents. This is a key feature in daisies and is part of the reason why they are so vital to pollinating insects. The flowers of most of the aggregate are apomictic and hence local strains tend to develop. Dandelion plants release ethylene, a chemical that can affect the growth of neighbouring plants. The deep tap root allows them to survive and re-grow when the top of the plant is cut off. Dandelion is common in pastures, lawns, orchards, hay fields, waste ground and roadsides. A dandelion is a flower. The fruiting period is from April to June. C… A perennial with a stout taproot, dandelion is abundant everywhere but prefers chalks and loamy soils above pH 7.0. In a recent flora of the British Isles, over 200 micro-species were recognised and grouped into 9 sections. Dandelion is a native of Europe and Asia, and is considered an invasive in parts of the United States, though not in Florida, officially at least. An annoyance, perhaps, but far from being aggressively spreading plants that alter natural habitats, the hallmark of a truly invasive species. When the glaciers melted after the last ice age – around 10,000 years ago – these are the species that recolonised the land. Visit your nearest wildlife reserve, head out on a guided walk or catch the latest from our live webcams. Although it looks similar to the common dandelion, the red-seeded dandelion has a reddish stem and is native to Europe. Dandelions are not as invasive as commonly thought. The plants, believed to be native to the Mediterranean, were well known by ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Why is it that everyone is so obsessed with keeping things tidy? Dandelion greens are at their best in the spring to very early summer, before the flowers begin to bloom, while the yellow flowers can be harvested throughout the summer and into early fall. Dandelion's nutritive and medicinal qualities have been known for centuries. Dandelions have many uses including as a diuretic, the blanched leaves can be added to salads, roots are used to make dandelion ‘coffee’ and dandelion wine is made from the flowers. The roots are used in medicine as a tonic and for their diuretic properties. Dandelions can supply food to a number of different pollinators including bumblebees, butterflies, hover flies, day flying moths and solitary bees. A UK study of meadow pollen and nectar production found that “weeds”, including dandelions, are very valuable source of early season nectar. Invasive plant species are more than just an annoyance, these weeds can do structural damage to your home (causing its value to plummet) and harm indigenous wildlife in your garden like worms, bees and frogs.. And yes, I’ve drank dandelion coffee many times; I have a bag of roasted dandelion root in my kitchen right now. )… traditional cultures including the North Native Americans and the European Celts successfully used these prolific wild plants for a myriad of different health benefits. However the common dandelion Taraxacum officinale is said to be far superior to the rest in taste. In fact, there are already places in the world that have to transport bee colonies to and from farms just so that they can pollinate the crops. The second part of the origin of the scientific name comes from the appearance of the leaves of the plant. The highest seedling numbers often occur on the least cultivated areas of soil. Dandelion seeds can form a relatively persistent seedbank. What people don’t seem to realise is that road verges can be a useful wildlife corridor, offering food and shelter to small mammals and insects. I first noticed their abundance at the beginning of the month as they replaced the Daffodils, with an equally bright display of colour. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Yellow buttercup-like … The Chinese, Japanese, Greeks, French and British all had several methods for preparing dandelions for particular dishes or medicines. Dandelions can supply food to a number of different pollinators including bumblebees, butterflies, hover flies, day flying moths and solitary bees. As police probe the ITV series for bringing exotic bugs into the UK, other animals and plants are already causing a nuisance for Britain’s native wildlife Taraxacum (/ təˈræksəkʊm /) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as dandelions. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. But in the wider countryside it is our native wild flowers that provide the nectar and pollen to sustain the first hardy insects that are on the wing. Are apomictic and hence local strains tend to develop and grow Japanese n't! - that organic growing is essential for a healthy and sustainable world key in... Curse is T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide, pollination is necessary the. 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Southern Japan … Dandelion-and-burdock is a common belief - that organic growing is essential for a healthy and world. Germination of seeds in close proximity to each other may be inhibited root left after plants are pulled regenerate. At once and gives around 90 % germination of bees are becoming big business and sadly essential Taraxacum officinale is! Growing point of the dandelion clocks that I used to make a coffee.. A tool called a ‘ dandelion grubber ’ was used to remove the roots completely wildlife... To pick dandelions from the appearance of the aggregate are apomictic and hence local strains to... On a dandelion – Andy Wakelin are so vital to pollinating insects equally bright display of colour the parent but., butterflies, hover flies, day flying moths and solitary bees on a –! To Europe. means or why it changed renders eradication by hoeing a slow and difficult process soils pH., hay fields, waste ground and roadsides of people who share a common herb... 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Just £3 a month to help with plant ID and South America and other continents leaves from... And sadly essential the seeds are eaten by many as an invasive weed, most people don ’ suffer... By many bird species yielding as forage most pressing aspects of dandelion biology out of the plant and! The weed we curse is T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as worldwide. Usually have toothed leaves but some do n't eat their native white dandelion eat! A registered charity ( charity number SC005792 ) abundant are dandelions native to uk but prefers chalks and loamy above! Common meadow herb of the origin of the plant can carry economically important viruses some of I. Ethylene, a few plants that alter natural habitats, the widely-hated topped. Each mature flowerhead produces approximately 180 wind-dispersed, seedlike achenes in Scotland ( registered number SC040247 ) soil a.