It is Dandelion season. Pick them, love them & use them!
Common Dandelion (Latin: Taraxacum Officinale) & Maskros, in Swedish
I've used delicious dandelion greens in dishes the last couple of days, and then I, of course, had to draw them:)
Did you know that dandelion greens contain more iron and protein than spinach and more beta-carotene than carrots! (1). So, instead of just removing this common weed, make tea, pesto, salad, wine, syrup, stews, as they are medicine and food.
From root to flower, dandelions are highly nutritious plants, loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is full of potent antioxidants, has high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Animal studies have shown that dandelion protects liver tissue from toxic substances and oxidative stress, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. More research is needed to understand how this plant affects levels in humans. Traditional herbal medicine uses dandelion to treat constipation and other symptoms of impaired digestion. Some early research seems to support these claims. Traditional herbal medicine also uses dandelion for their diuretic effect based on the belief that it detoxifies specific organs. (2)
The leaves (dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, and are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Usually, the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind. These balls are called "blowballs” or "clocks" in both British and American English. (3)
Check out this beautiful dandelion time-lapse video by Neil Bromhall;