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Uses

Toxic parts

This plant has been mentioned in various books on poisonous plants but any possible toxins will be of very low concentration and toxicity[1]. There are reports that some people have suffered dermatitis as a result of touching the plant, this is probably caused by the latex in the leaves and stems[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - raw or cooked[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]. When used in salads, they are rather bitter, though less so in the winter. Tender young leaves are considerably less bitter than older leaves[K]. The leaves are often blanched (by excluding light from the growing plant) before use[13]. This will make them less bitter, but they will also contain less vitamins and minerals[K]. A very nutritious food, 100g of the raw leaves contain about 2.7g. protein, 9.2g. carbohydrate, 187mg Calcium, 66mg phosphorus, 3.1mg iron, 76mg sodium, 397mg potassium, 36mg magnesium, 14000iu vitamin A, 0.19mg vitamin B1, 0.26mg vitamin B2, 35mg vitamin C[14]. Root - raw or cooked[6][8][9][13]. Bitter. A turnip-like flavour[15]. Flowers - raw or cooked[16][15]. A rather bitter flavour[K], the unopened flower buds can be used in fritters[13] and they can also be preserved in vinegar and used like capers[7]. Both the leaves and the roots are used to flavour herbal beers and soft drinks such as 'Dandelion and Burdock'[17]. The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn, dried and roasted to make a very good coffee substitute[4][5][6][9][18][15]. It is caffeine-free[19]. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers[9][16]. They are also used to make wine - all green parts should be removed when making wine to prevent a bitter flavour[17]. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea.

Unknown part

Flowers

Leaves

Material uses

The flowers are an ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator[20]. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. A liquid plant feed can be made from the root and leaves[18]. A low quality latex, which can be used for making rubber, can be obtained from the roots of this plant. A magenta-brown dye is obtained from the root[21]. The plant releases ethylene gas, this stunts the growth of nearby plants and causes premature ripening of fruits[10][22]. A distilled water made from the ligules (thin appendages at the base of the leaf blades) is used cosmetically to clear the skin and is particularly effective in fading freckles[7].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The dandelion is a commonly used herbal remedy. It is especially effective and valuable as a diuretic because it contains high levels of potassium salts and therefore can replace the potassium that is lost from the body when diuretics are used[17]. All parts of the plant, but especially the root, are slightly aperient, cholagogue, depurative, strongly diuretic, hepatic, laxative, stomachic and tonic[5][7][8][23][18][24][25][2][17]. The root is also experimentally cholagogue, hypoglycaemic and a weak antibiotic against yeast infections[2]. The dried root has a weaker action[2]. The roots can be used fresh or dried and should be harvested in the autumn when 2 years old[5]. The leaves are harvested in the spring when the plant is in flower and can be dried for later use[8]. A tea can be made from the leaves or, more commonly, from the roots[19]. The plant is used internally in the treatment of gall bladder and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, dyspepsia with constipation, oedema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne[17]. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc[25]. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns, warts and verrucae[7]. The latex has a specific action on inflammations of the gall bladder and is also believed to remove stones in the liver[7]. A tea made from the leaves is laxative[2].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks, though 2 weeks cold stratification may improve germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Taraxacum officinale. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils[3], though it prefers a well-drained humus-rich neutral to alkaline soil in full sun or light shade[26][17]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -29°c[17]. The dandelion is a common weed of lawns and grassy places. Though it has a bitter flavour, the plant is often cultivated as a salad crop and as a medicinal plant, especially in parts of Europe. There are some named varieties with larger, more tender and less bitter leaves[13]. Dandelions can provide edible leaves all year round, especially if they are given a small amount of protection in the winter[K]. A valuable bee plant and an important food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly and moth species[5][27][28][18], it grows well in a spring meadow[27]. A deep rooting plant, it has roots up to 1 metre long and brings up nutrients from lower levels of the soil[29]. An excellent plant to grow in lawns, if the lawn is cut no more than fortnightly then the dandelions will provide a good quantity of edible leaves[K]. Grows well with alfalfa[22][29]. Another report says that it inhibits the growth of nearby plants[18]. This is probably a reference to the fact that the plant gives off ethylene gas, this gas is a hormone that promotes the premature ripening of fruits and also induces the premature fruiting of plants, thereby stunting their growth[10][22]. T. officinale is not a valid name for this species, but no valid name has as yet been ascribed to it[30]. This is actually an aggregate species of many hundreds of slightly differing species. Most seed production is apomictic which means that plants produce seed non-sexually and all seedlings are clones of the parent, thus small differences are maintained.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Taraxacum officinale. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Taraxacum officinale.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Taraxacum officinale
Genus
Taraxacum
Family
Compositae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
0.45 x 0.3
Fertility
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Loewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Loewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


"image:Loewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Loewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (32202/01/01)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
  3. ? 3.03.13.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
  4. ? 4.04.14.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (32202/01/01)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (32202/01/01)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (32202/01/01)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.77.8 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (32202/01/01)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (32202/01/01)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.4 Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (32202/01/01)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table. Faber (32202/01/01)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria. ()
  13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
  14. ? 14.014.1 Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-508302 (32202/01/01)
  15. ? 15.015.115.215.3 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (32202/01/01)
  16. ? 16.016.116.2 Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (32202/01/01)
  17. ? 17.017.117.217.317.417.517.617.717.8 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (32202/01/01)
  18. ? 18.018.118.218.318.418.518.618.7 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (32202/01/01)
  19. ? 19.019.119.219.3 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (32202/01/01)
  20. ? 20.020.1 Bruce. M. E. Commonsense Compost Making. Faber ISBN 0-571-09990-4 (32202/01/01)
  21. ? 21.021.1 Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK. Centre for Agricultural Strategy, Univ. of Reading ISBN 0704909820 (32202/01/01)
  22. ? 22.022.122.222.3 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (32202/01/01)
  23. ? 23.023.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (32202/01/01)
  24. ? 24.024.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  25. ? 25.025.125.2 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (32202/01/01)
  26. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (32202/01/01)
  27. ? 27.027.1 Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden. ()
  28. ? Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe. Pan ISBN 0-330-26642-x (32202/01/01)
  29. ? 29.029.1 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (32202/01/01)
  30. ? 30.030.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
  31. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (32202/01/01)


"image:Loewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Taraxacum officinale"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyCompositae +
Belongs to genusTaraxacum +
Has common nameDandelion +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part +, Flowers +, Leaves + and Root +
Has edible useCoffee substitute +, Unknown use + and Tea +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure + and High wind +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has hardiness zone5 +
Has imageLoewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useCompost +, Cosmetic +, Dye +, Fruit ripening + and Latex +
Has mature height0.45 +
Has mature width0.3 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAperient +, Cholagogue +, Depurative +, Diuretic +, Hepatic +, Laxative +, Stomachic +, Tonic + and Warts +
Has primary imageLoewenzahn Taraxacum officinale.jpg +
Has search nametaraxacum officinale + and x +
Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameTaraxacum officinale +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates air pollutionNo +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +