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Dandelion

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Dandelion Blossom

Dandelion Blossom

© Flickr user Ndrwfgg

Overview:

Dandelion is an herb that is beneficial from root to blossom. It is one of the most versatile and important herbs to learn about.

Latin Name:

Taraxacum officinale

Common Name:

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Dandelion is found in virtually every zone in the US.

Exposure:

From partial to full sun, this hardy plant grows with little care. If harvesting the long taproot, it is useful to grow in a cultivated area.

Harvest:

Harvest the new greens in early spring to eat. Later in the season, harvest the larger leaves and dry them for tea. The blossoms are eaten as green buds, fully opened, the petals are harvested for jelly and tea. The root is ready once hard frost has killed off the green parts.

Uses:

Dandelion is a multi purpose herb. All parts of it are useful. From early spring, when the new leaves are steamed and eaten as a potherb, through the summer, the leaves and blossoms are harvested. In the fall, the roots are pulled after a frost. Even the white, milky sap is used as an effective wart remover. Dandelion is a diuretic that also contains potassium. It has been used as a liver tonic. Regular harvesting will keep the dandelion from going to seed and sowing itself. This will keep the spread of cultivated dandelions out of your lawn. No matter what use you want dandelion for, this easy growing plant is going to be a wonderful addition to your herbal garden.
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