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The word dandelion comes from French dent de lion - Lion Teeth. Dandelions are called Worm Roses in Swedish, Lion Teeth in Norwegian and Butter Flowers in Finnish - have they got interesting names in other languages?
I have dandelions in my garden and I always have them for salads. The problem is when I go on holiday to my country in Africa where I do not see any, I do miss them. Can they grow in Africa if I collect some seeds?
As a weed I hate dandelions. But as a salad veg it isn't bad at all if you like your salad greens even more bitter than spinach. Especially when it gets a bit older. However, for salads, there is a better answer. It is called Ciccoria catalogna or Italian dandelion chicory. Looks like dandelion and tastes like, even when older, young dandelion. But it doesn't spread or flower in the same way. I grow it as a salad crop, having been sent some by a friend in Florence. Doesn't need blanching but tastes like chicory.
Nice to hear a sympathetic word for this much maligned wildflower. Why complain about a reliable flower producer that has many benefits to the surrounding environment. Control of this prolific seeder is a better balance than to try to beat such a formidable adversary?
To stop the flowerheads of dandelions from appearing you need to cut out the heart of the plant. Gather up the plant's leaves and flower stems, go to the base of the plant, and using a sharp knife (I use a Stanley knife), cut right through them, as close to the ground as you can. This doesn't kill the plant, but it won't flower again this year. It's a lot quicker and easier than actually digging them out!

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In Scotland they are called "Pee the bed"s, but then we historically have a bond with the French!
I have always kept my love of dandelions to myself, thank goodness i am not the only lover of these weeds, I have let them go to the fluffy stage and have a pair of bullfinches who just love the seed heads, FANTASTIC.
I remember when I was a young boy back in the forties we used to collect a few dandelion storks and blow through them as they are hollow and make a tune.
I agree with entirely you and I leave mine until they have "clocks" and then put them off- I do not resort to childish games these days! I hear you on GQT every week frequently talking about lily beetles- today I picked off 8 from one pot. My new tip- get a pair of eyebrow tweezers- so easy to pick them off before they drop to the ground and squeeze! Yuk but effective!
The Dandelions have gone mad in Bedfordshire. I came across one of my neighbours who was in a real state. Digging them out of her lawn and muttering how much she hated them. I felt odd and embarished as my lawn is covered. I decided I must dug them out for the sake of the neighbourhood but every time I looked at them I remembered chasing the seeds with my son when he was little and i just couldn't bring myself. I am so pleased to find not everyone hates them and they will stay in my garden so i can remember happy times.
Wow, what a lot of you love this gorgeous flower, thanks for so many great dandelion-positive comments! PG
I feel a bit like that about buttercups and daisies but I do have to keep them under control If I had a medow garden then they would be left to creep and spread .
lots of dandelions here this year in oxfordshire too, the weather conditions must have suited them this year. We dig them out of the lawn, but like to see them growing in the lanes and our grandson loves huffing and puffing at the 'clocks'. I don't like anything growing in the lawn, but my husband always leaves the daisies.
Don't you know you should never touch dandelion leaves and then put your fingers in your mouth. It will make you pee
I live in Wirral, and I was only thinking while out driving how many dandelions there are around at the moment. The grass verges are a wash of yellow! I saw the programme too about eating them...i wonder if you can do anything with their roots as when I did them out at home they are massive!

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Why is it that Gardener's World do not make the connection between getting rid of perennial weeds and wild flowers that bees like. Bees love dandelions, Rose Bay Willow Herb, clover, brambles and many others. Bees are under threat and the latest scientific research shows that neonicotinoid pesticides are killing them (produced by Bayer and others). I have a wonderful display of Green Alkanet, Herb Robert, dandelions, Valerian, not yet in flower but loved by butterflies and humming bird hawk moths, all amongst my planted flowers which are all bee friendly of course. If you want a riot of colour and not a regimented display as seen in council flower beds, leave them alone for the insects who love them and the birds will take care of your greenfly. Shame on you Gardener's World for suggesting poisons are the answer!
FloBear

Another dandelion fan here!
I think I once read that you can cover the plants - like forcing rhubarb - to obtain less bitter leaves for salad. I haven't tried it yet.

Gary Hobson
louiseww wrote (see)
.... Bees love dandelions... If you want a riot of colour and not a regimented display as seen in council flower beds, leave them alone for the insects who love them ...

The point about insects needing nectar is very important.

Just at the moment, there are not that many other flowers providing nectar.

I have a patch of long grass. Every garden should have one. I took these snaps this morning:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab51/falcosubbuteo/dandelions.jpg

I'm sure other people can grow dandelions better than I can. 

When I took this snap, I didn't realise that a ladybird had also sneaked into the photo (at the bottom left corner):

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab51/falcosubbuteo/dandelions2.jpg

 

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab51/falcosubbuteo/dandelions3.jpg

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