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  • When is it in season?
    January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November, December
  • Health Benefits
    Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K
  • Tastes like...
    Earthy, Peppery, Sweet, Bitter, Crisp, Tart
GOOD TO KNOW
GROWS NEAR
IDEAS FOR USE

The dandelion is a great starting block for new foragers. It’s straightforward to identify, grows everywhere, has a myriad of uses and there are no dangerous lookalikes. Plus its bright yellow face is pure joy! šŸ¤©

The Swiss Army Knife of Wild Plants

Although it’s considered a weed by most people, the dandelion has so many uses in the kitchen, as well as having lots of medicinal benefits. The leaves, roots and flowers are edible and contain a boatload of vitamins and minerals. It’s often used as a diuretic, helping kidney and liver function. And the dandelion is really important for bees and insects too, especially in early spring when they are one of the first to bloom.

How to IDā€¦ Dandelion

It’s hard to mistake the bright yellow face of a dandelion. And it’s a rite of passage in childhood to blow the disco ball seed head and make a wish! The basal leaves stand out too, as they are deeply serrated like teeth or a sawblade. They form large circular rosettes that look a little bit like a lion’s mane, hence the name “dandelion” (French “dent de lion,” meaning lion’s tooth).

*Basal means that the leaves grow from the bottom of the stem.

6 health benefits of a dandelion

Tastes likeā€¦ honey and chicory

The flowers taste sweet – a little bit like honey when early on in its growth. The leaves are more bitter with a hint of pepper, a bit like chicory or rocket. The root is nutty and bitter, often used in tinctures or prepared in tea. It has a warm, toasty smell when cooked!

Here’s a dandelion foraging tip: the young leaves are very tender and delicious raw. As the leaves get older, they become tougher and more bitter. The flowers are the same. When young, they taste sweet and floral, but as the flower nears seed production, it becomes more bitter. So if you’re making dandelion wine, jam, or a salad, pick the flowers and leaves early on in their growth stage!

Not To Be Confused With… Goat’s Beard

Dandelion can be confused with other members of its family (Aster), such as Goat’s Beard and Hawkweed. They are not poisonous if eaten, and you can tell them apart from the dandelion by its leaf shape, so the dandelion is a good starting plant for anybody new to foraging.

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