Dandelions: A Good Friend in Time of Need

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Dandelions are recognized because of their dazzling yellow flowers that are later replaced by a round puff ball, dispatching seeds with the wind. Other people look at this flower as being a chronic weed that will invade even a pristine yard.

This flower has smooth, toothy edged, and hollow, milky, stalks that yield an individual flower. Also called 'swine's snout,' Dandelion's green sepals encircle its shut bud creating a silhouette which looks like a pig's nose.

A number of plants look like Dandelions. Examine the foliage as well as the blossom stems. In the event the leaves are found to be furry or if the flower stems are branched -- or the root composition fails to agree with the description of Dandelion root � you've discovered a look alike but not an actual Dandelion flower.

A healthy food item as well as a prized pick-me-up, Dandelions are actually edible from the root, to the leaves and the flowers. Collect Dandelion from an area KNOWN to be free from pesticides & dangerous chemical contaminants -- stay away from roadsides.

Leaves

The familiar name of this vegetable was prompted by the form of its leaves. The French term 'dent du lion' describes the toothy design of the leaves.

Leaves ought to be gathered in the early spring just before the plant flowers due to the fact that is the place the vitality of the plant is focused in the spring � new growth. Tonics, tea, soups and salads are all enhanced by these. Whether consumed fresh or dehydrated for use later, Dandelion leaves are delectable.

To clean them place the leaves in a basin of water and agitate gently. Allow the leaves to soak while the dirt settles to bottom. Lift the leaves carefully from the water so that you will not re-mix the dirt with the water. Rinse them with running water and set them in a colander to dry out.

Blooms

It is better to harvest the blossoms in middle to late morning hours, after the dew has lifted and ahead of the hottest part of the day. The flowers stay shut under gloomy skies. The flower heads close up at the first hint of rain. The blooms also close during the night (or early evening) and open again when the plant is bathed in sunshine.

To collect the blooms, pull on the sepals (green leaves at base of flower) and the flowers will pop nicely away the stem, conserving you the trouble of getting rid of stems later. Make use of the same technique for these as used to thoroughly clean the leaves.

Dandelion Roots

It is feasible to savor Dandelion roots fresh or dried for storage. Top quality roots may be found in well-tilled dirt. They form a slender, carrot-shaped tap which is twisted and brittle, milky white in hue and seated deep in the dirt. New plants will develop from broken off remains of roots left in the ground following harvest.

Collect roots in midsummer as this is the time when they are believed to be the least bitter. Valued roots can be found in shady places with loose, moist soil. Roots are less potent during frosty conditions and really should not be collected during these conditions. Nevertheless, it isn't a problem to collect during rainy conditions. Make use of a long fork or trowel and lift slowly and carefully. If the roots are severed or broken in the course of removal they will hemorrhage and you can forfeit the benefit of their valuable juice.

If oversized, Dandelion roots may be sliced in 3 to 6 inch lengths or they are able to be dried out intact. These roots can be dried in about 14 days. In the course of drying out, they shrivel to 1/2 inch or less in diameter and have a dark brown appearance marked by spiraling, lengthwise creases. Thoroughly dried roots will be brittle enough to snap whenever bent, exposing a white inner surface. A tightly-covered container will secure them from pests; keep them within an arid place in order to eliminate mold. They will keep for 1 season.

Attractive to Animals

The nectar of Dandelion blooms attracts hoverflies, bees, and butterflies. The seeds of this herb are also enjoyed by Finches.

Make an effort now to recognise a few select sources of Dandelion to ensure that it's easily accessable to you in a time of need.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Julie Johnson
For more about Releasing A Zip Tie and other DIY tips, read Kay Morrison's Survival Scoop blog.

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