The last day (for the time-being) of English flowers – and I am choosing a weed which I guess most of us do our best to keep out of our gardens as it spreads and takes over so quickly and easily! And yet its leaves are edible, it transforms roadside verges with its brilliant yellow flowers (my favourite colour) and has such delicate seeds which drift gently in the air, leaving behind a symmetrically studded cushion where each seed was attached. Yes, its the common and much-maligned Dandelion today!
It’s name comes from the French, meaning “tooth of a lion” because of its jagged leaves. It has many other names, perhaps the best known folk name being “Wet-the-bed” or, less politely, “Piss-in-the-bed”. This is because the roots are a strong diuretic. Many of us will have blown “dandelion clocks” as young children, “telling the time” by the number of puffs needed to dislodge all the seeds from one head and send them floating into the air! Look closely at the beautifully grooved seeds with minute spikes on them.