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Dandelion

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer Winter Winter

Can be found almost anywhere and at any time of year. There are up to two hundred and thirty five micro species of dandelion all lumped under the Taraxacum officinale name.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Dandelion, Dent-de lion, Pissabed, Piss-en-lit
Scientific Name Taraxacum officinale
Season Start Jan
Season End Dec
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Green, heavily toothed edges and growing in a rosette. Exudes a milky sap when cut.

Flowers

Quite large yellow flowers made up of many fine, long, thin petals turning into the well known sphere of seed parachutes.

Flower Stem

Long, thin and hollow stem for the flower, the leaves have no stem and grow from the base of the plant.

Seeds

Everybody knows the Dandelion clock of seeds. These can travel long distances to spread to almost anywhere.

Roots

Has a large tap root, kind of carrot shaped. Cream to pale brown.

Habitat

Pasture, fields, hedgerows, gardens, roadside, woods and waste ground, pretty much everywhere.

Possible Confusion

Cats Ear, Hawkbit or Goats Beard but they are all edible.

Taste

The leaves cooked like spinach are very bitter but the taste grows on you the more you eat.

Frequency

Very common.

Collecting

Only the younger leaves should be consumed. The root can be dug up and roasted in a fire.

Medicinal Uses

Dandelion is a diuretic, increasing urine production, so is good as detox for the blood and helps improve kidney and liver function. It can be used as a tea, the roots, leaves and flowers. The white sap in the stem and leaves has been used traditionally for curing warts.

Other Facts

Eaten by man in times of famine the roots contain starch. The leaves are diuretic hence the name Pissabed. The dandelion has many food uses such as salad, a green vegetable, a flavouring for soft and alcoholic drinks, a substitute for coffee and a calorific staple.

COMMENTS

3 comments for Dandelion

  1. Hazel J says:

    This is a great website, I’m really happy to have found it. Dandelion leaves are commonly picked in Italy, especially by older people who eat them regularly and they are widely thought to be good for the liver. They are boiled first and then sizzled in olive oil, garlic and perhaps some chilli and salt. This second step reduces the bitterness. As you say, the flavour grows on you.

  2. Barbara Roberts says:

    Just found your website !

    I am so happy to have found it, this is what I have been searching for.
    I am so passionate about the benefits of foraging for wild fruit and herbs, free food that we can eat and beneficial for our health.

    I love your website, It’ like a breath of fresh air! It’s easy to negotiate and the photography is excellent are very clear, plus all of the plant is photographed in it’s stages of growth which helps to identify it when foraging.
    I also love the way the video is produced I like the commentary as well it show the plant growing in it’s natural habit . For a novice like myself when out and about looking for herbs it will be good as I can print out the various plants.
    .
    I would love to come to one of your forage days/ courses and share my interest with like minded people but unfortunately I live in Halifax, West Yorkshire, which is quite a distance away for me to travel for a few hours,I but would just like to finish by saying “well done to all the team for producing a great website!
    I will be a constant visitor.

    Regards
    Barbara

    1. Poppy Ives says:

      Hi Barbara, thank you for your lovely comments :). Our nearest courses to you are in the Yorkshire Dales, we should be running some more courses there next spring and summer.

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