The Dandelion

Bumblebee feeding happily on a dandelion!

To start off, a plant who most of us know very well: The Dandelion.

This is in the family of Asteraceae which is number 128 in Stace’s Flora of the B.I.  This large family has no less than 104 genera described, sub-divided in 3 sub-families and 16 tribes.  The dandelion is in Sub-family 2 or Cichorioideae, tribe 2 or Cichorieae and Genus number 33 just to dazzle you with the scientific classification! All interesting stuff though hope you agree?

Many more plants of this family will be written about in future blogs!

The true Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale no longer exists. The dandelion is so varied now that  “234 microspecies are currently recognised in the British Isles” (from Stace p. 712).

The name Dandelion comes from the French ‘dent-de-lion’ or ‘tooth of lion’.

Most of us love and/or hate the dandelion. Their en mass-flowering period is relatively short although it will carry on sending new flowers throughout the year.

Dandelions in various stages of its life-cycle

They are very successful and can grow virtually everywhere, but the best grow in good fertile soil where they become prolific and tend to be the most difficult to get out again!

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Introduction to My Wonderful Weed Weekly Blog

Common Ragwort is despised by horse owners in particular but lots of wildlife, including this house sparrow is depended on it! See more in this post. (Picture by Matt Summers)

To talk kindly about the weeds in my weekly blog, we first need to identify those weeds of which many people despise…!

I found the RHS website very useful please see here.

and how to tackle them:

This website mentions over 20 most troublesome weeds, upon which I will hope to do a write up in the coming weeks. As my partner is going through 1000’s of pictures taken by him in the last 10 years, I will occasionally stray to another weed/native plant which I think is worth you knowing about!

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