We have over 100,000 visitors each month, but in the whole of 2013 less than £1,000 was raised from donations. We rely on donations and cannot continue to maintain our database and website unless this increases considerably in 2014. Please make a donation today. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Taraxacum officinale - Webb.                
                 
Common Name Dandelion - Kukraundha, Kanphool
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
Synonyms
Known Hazards This plant has been mentioned in various books on poisonous plants but any possible toxins will be of very low concentration and toxicity[10]. 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[222].
Habitats A very common weed of grassland and cultivated ground[17].
Range Throughout most of the northern hemisphere, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Taraxacum officinale is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self, apomictic.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Taraxacum officinale Dandelion - Kukraundha, Kanphool


Taraxacum officinale Dandelion - Kukraundha, Kanphool
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:MatthiasKabel
   
Habitats       
 Lawn; Meadow; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked[1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 33, 154]. 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[183]. 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[173]. Root - raw or cooked[5, 9, 12, 183]. Bitter. A turnip-like flavour[159]. Flowers - raw or cooked[102, 159]. A rather bitter flavour[K], the unopened flower buds can be used in fritters[183] 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'[238]. The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn, dried and roasted to make a very good coffee substitute[2, 4, 5, 12, 54, 159]. It is caffeine-free[213]. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers[12, 102]. They are also used to make wine - all green parts should be removed when making wine to prevent a bitter flavour[238]. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Aperient;  Cholagogue;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Hepatic;  Hypoglycaemic;  Laxative;  Miscellany;  Stomachic;  Tonic;  Warts.


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[238]. All parts of the plant, but especially the root, are slightly aperient, cholagogue, depurative, strongly diuretic, hepatic, laxative, stomachic and tonic[4, 7, 9, 21, 54, 165, 176, 222, 238]. The root is also experimentally cholagogue, hypoglycaemic and a weak antibiotic against yeast infections[222]. The dried root has a weaker action[222]. The roots can be used fresh or dried and should be harvested in the autumn when 2 years old[4]. The leaves are harvested in the spring when the plant is in flower and can be dried for later use[9]. A tea can be made from the leaves or, more commonly, from the roots[213]. 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[238]. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc[176]. 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[222]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Taraxacum officinale for dyspepsia, urnary tract infections, liver and gallbladder complaints, appetite loss (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
Compost;  Cosmetic;  Dye;  Fruit ripening;  Latex;  Miscellany.

The flowers are an ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator[32]. 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[54]. 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[141]. The plant releases ethylene gas, this stunts the growth of nearby plants and causes premature ripening of fruits[14, 18]. 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].
Cultivation details                                         
A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils[1], though it prefers a well-drained humus-rich neutral to alkaline soil in full sun or light shade[37, 238]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -29°c[238]. 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[183]. 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[4, 24, 30, 54], it grows well in a spring meadow[24]. A deep rooting plant, it has roots up to 1 metre long and brings up nutrients from lower levels of the soil[201]. 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[18, 201]. Another report says that it inhibits the growth of nearby plants[54]. 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[14, 18]. T. officinale is not a valid name for this species, but no valid name has as yet been ascribed to it[200]. 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.
                                                                                 
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.
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Webb.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[5]Mabey. R. Food for Free.
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[12]Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder.
A handy pocket guide.
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[24]Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden.
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
[30]Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
[32]Bruce. M. E. Commonsense Compost Making.
Excellent little booklet dealing with how to make compost by using herbs to activate the heap. Gives full details of the herbs that are used.
[33]Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table.
Unusual vegetables that can be grown outdoors in Britain. A good guide.
[37]Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant.
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
[54]Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds.
Interesting reading.
[102]Kavasch. B. Native Harvests.
Another guide to the wild foods of America.
[141]Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK.
Some suggested alternative commercial crops for Britain. Readable. Produced by a University study group.
[154]Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria.
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
[159]McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana.
A nice pocket guide to this region of America.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[173]Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
[176]Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.
A well produced and very readable book.
[213]Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food.
A nice book to read though it is difficult to look up individual plants since the book is divided into separate sections dealing with the different medicinal uses plus a section on edible plants. Common names are used instead of botanical.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.
[302]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Commission E
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_E

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Ralf Sun Dec 16 16:46:59 2001

"Löwenzahn" flowers are used in northern Germany are used in northern Germany to make a delicious syrup (tastes like honey) and a jelly which is eaten on bread. I bought last summer Dandelion Jelly in the Fläming mountains just south of Berlin. The flower buds are traditionally used in Germany to make capers. The leafs are bleached like chicoree during the winter months in the cellar (it must be dark) and gives a delicious vegetable.Ralf

Your display doesn't work. I gave my name. The webmaster should correct that.

Elizabeth H.
John Kallas Sat Jul 14 2007

Making Dandelions Palatable by John Kallas, Ph.D. Issue #82 This is an article that explains how to understand and manage dandelion bitterness in food preparation. The article helps you enjoy dandelion flavor raw or cooked.

Elizabeth H.
Giustin Zifulin Mon Jul 28 2008
Unpleasant odor? I'm confused. I've smelled dandelions all over North America and in Italy and have always found the scent to be sweet and "sunny", for lack of a better term.
Elizabeth H.
Alec Tue Sep 23 2008
Elizabeth H.
Khono Wed Mar 18 2009
I agree with you, Giustin Zifulin. I too consider dandelion flowers to smell sunny. Rather mild and certainly not unpleasant.
Herbcyclopedia H.
Apr 26 2011 12:00AM
Dandelion´s root and leaf have been scientifically proven as an herbal remedy against oxidative stress linked to arteriosclerosis.
Paulo B.
Jun 27 2011 12:00AM
To have tasty dandelion leaves harvest those growing in shady and wet places, plants that grow in humid and fast growing conditions with no hot sun or dry conditions. They will be less bitter. Then, boil them 1min, discard water, and stir dry them like you would do for other vegetables. They will be tasty like turnip leaves.
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
     
                                                                                 
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Taraxacum officinale  
             

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site
Details