A Simple Case of Multiplication – Dandelion Style

Dandelions are popping up all over our yard right now. They’re hearty enough to withstand almost anything (I suspect they’d even survive ravages of a nuclear kind), and their seed dispersal method is remarkable!

Starting out as cheerful yellow flowers…

Starting out as cheerful yellow flowers

Starting out as cheerful yellow flowers

… dandelions quickly mature and turn into puff balls. The white fuzz is attached to seeds that act as parachutes.

Dandelions quickly mature and turn into puff balls

Dandelions quickly mature and turn into puff balls

Riding on the wind, platoons of tiny paratroopers are carried away for one purpose only—a single-minded, tactical mission—to multiply.

Having one purpose only -- to multiply

Having one purpose only -- to multiply

In researching the etymology for the word “dandelion,” I expected to find the name came from the flower’s similar appearance to that of the regal, golden mane of lions. Not so.

The English name dandelion is a corruption of the French dent de lion, meaning lion’s tooth—referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.

Did you know that all parts of a pesticide-free dandelion are edible and have medicinal and culinary uses? As a matter of fact, they’ve long been used as a liver tonic, diuretic, and for making dandelion wine.

Then, of course, there’s the Dandelion Doo sported by the one and only Alexis de la Luna (lovingly referred to as Lexi) in the Buchanan household.

Dandelion hairdoo modeled by Lexi Buchanan

Dandelion hairdoo modeled by Lexi Buchanan

What is it that you’re dispersing—sending forth to multiply?

 Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

30 thoughts on “A Simple Case of Multiplication – Dandelion Style

  1. Laurie,

    Yes these plants seem to have a wild life of their own… spreading joy and dread wherever they seem to pop up. I did know that dandelion are edible and have medicinal and culinary uses! And maybe their purpose is to be used for those cures…

    Lexi looks lovely with her Doo !

    I am dispensing Photographic joy all over the place!

  2. Enjoyed the fascinating history of the dandelions, and was quite surprised to hear about the medicinal and culinary properties!

    Because these flowers crop up everywhere and anywhere at all times during the spring and summer (my front lawn provides a showcase when I’m late with the mower, for one) I( tend to be less tolerant, though all I can do is grimace. Ha! I love the photo with the tagline: “Having one purpose – to multiply!” Ha! Ain’t that the truth!

    Love the do on that poodle Laurie!

    I am “dispersing” my summer enrichment program notices today for parents to decide/consent to enroll their kids.

    • Sam – Like you, we’ve learned that if we enjoy the slightest hesitation on mowing the lawn (give an inch) the dandelions grow like gang-busters (take a mile)! The students who INVEST time in your summer enRICHment (emphasis on rich) program will be the wealthier for it — a nice dividend of knowledge to be gained. One that will stand them in good stead in the years to come.

  3. I greatly enjoyed your etymology findings for dandelion Laurie. I have been known to help the dandelion dispersal of seeds by holding up the seedy heads to make a wish and blowing the seeds free on day’s winds. I also like to keep a few growing – just in case one is in need of an early green or a wee bit of wine even though I am not fond of their greens and I have never made them into wine. It is an odd survival instinct I think.

    Today I am dispersing a poem “Uninterrupted Day” – another that has flowed freely this June after months of focusing on my painting.

  4. As I have often felt like a weed in a flower garden, I admire the dandelion’s courage to stand firm and demand attention.
    What am I dispersing?
    Challenge the norm–look for the beauty, the admirable in all.

  5. Today I’m dispersing long overdue comments onto the blog posts on my blogroll… Lexi looks very charming in her dandelion-doo! I’ve been meaning to try eating a pesticide-free dandelion one of these days…

  6. Very cute, Laurie! Jonathan and I eat dandelions all the time in salads (his is a pesticide-free garden). I am trying to think of what I am dispersing and I want to think it is something profound like “ultimate wisdom.” In actuality, lately I have been dispersing good thoughts for myself and for others, like seeing my daughter whole, healthy, and supporting herself, seeing my granddaughter thriving, seeing myself happy, and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know if it works, but I know it makes me feel good!

    • Barbara – I think it does work — at minimum for ourselves (what we think about, we bring about), but I believe it can extend far beyond that. Ohhhhhhh, Jonathan’s garden sounds delicious!

    • The Island Traveler – You’re absolutely right in that the fluffly white stuff does have a tendency to send many people into a sneezing fit. I’m glad for your visit today, and will pass your compliment along to Lexi 🙂

  7. I have always adored dandelions with their yellow flowers, adorning green grass. Reminds me of an innocent Garden of Eden. And the puff balls that send wishes out into the ethers! But then there is also a stage of disarray in the dandelion world when everything looks raggedy and unkempt. The circle of life, Dandelion-style.

    What am I dispersing? I feel like I have been dispersing joy. But in the last couple of days have wanted to turn inward and not disperse as much–for at least a few days–to rejuvenate before sending more seeds outward. Thank you for these reflections.

    • Kathy – It’s good to recharge our personal batteries periodically. When I do that I’m basically “unreachable” to the outside world for a few days, and then I have the ability to “hit the ground running” (so to speak) until it’s time again for another hermitage.

  8. I enjoyed your post and have consumed a lot of dandelion tea for my liver and kidney problems over the years. My daughter lived on the greens in Alaska last year because she was not working there long enough to get a garden in during the best timing for growing. She gave me her dandelion syrup for mother’s day – too much sugar for me, so I am letting her father enjoy it on his pancakes. Finding pesticide free dandelions can be a challenge these days.

    I am watching the last 3 of my neighbor’s catalpa trees come down, so I am dispersing good energy to help her feel not so sad and find joy in the new trees that will take their place – and maybe something to shade her west windows?

    What a fun post – thank you
    Dandelion Doo…..yep….my pup is eating the Japaneses strawberry blooms we have as ground cover and he loves to stick his nose deeply into blooms along our walk – but he did discover bumblebees are not to be messed with last week – so he now barks at them!!!

    • Patricia – I’m glad to you know you’ve already discovered the medicinal benefits of dandelions. Ouch! To learn about bumble bees the hard way — I hope your pup is okay 🙂

      • Swollen face, but doing well – at the itchy stage. I have found prescription strength Tea Tree Oil to be beneficial at drawing out the bees deposit and by daily or sometime hourly applications I can truly minimize the reaction.

        Yes a very hard way for a puppy to learn. I have heard of dogs getting stung in their mouths before and eating the bee without too many side effects…but the side of the nose was not such a good spot Thank you for sharing your concern

      • Patricia – Ay caramba! Poor little fellow. I’m a huge fan of Tea Tree Oil (for just about everything). Many years ago when our dalmation — Captain Cinder — got quilled in the face by a porqupine, we used Tea Tree Oil and it helped tremendously. Sounds like you’re doing the right thing — keep up the great work!

  9. Lexi is beautiful — oh my. I bet there’s a lot of love in Lexi’s life and that’s wonderful! The dandelion idea is a good one, Laurie! Dandelion wine, is there such a thing really? Always amazing how they grow when nothing else does in a certain spot. And they do get their seeds out there most effectively. Kids love to blow the white tops off .. that much I remember! And there are clouds that remind me of the white tops now and then. So for your Q: what am I dispersing. Hmm, well, not sure exactly. Blog comments on some of my favorite blogs for one thing (!), and also pulling a few lines of poetry together tonight (with luck) … so I guess I’m dispersing words … yes, there it is: words! Always great to stop by this bright and joyful space. Thank you, Laurie, for all of your hard work and creativity. With heart, Daisy

    • Daisy – I very much appreciate it when you disperse comments at Speaking from the Heart. And words, Words, WORDS — I love to read, write, hear, and say them 🙂

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