The dandelion, also called lion's tooth, is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family, 10 to 30 cm high. It is widespread in meadows, fields and slopes of paths, whether in the plains or in the mountains.
The leaves of the dandelion are arranged around the stem in a rosette and they have irregular teeth.
Young dandelion leaves contain lots of vitamins A, C and K. They are rich in potash, calcium, iron and boron.
What we refer to in common parlance as a dandelion flower is actually a bouquet of small yellow flowers in tabs (ligules): it is a "flower head". About 200 small flowers are attached to the flower head.
The flower is golden yellow in color and is mostly found from March to July.
The Dandelion is also known for its flower as for its white balls that let fly small parachutes when you blow on them. The flower head then turns into a spherical fruit head.
Each dry fruit, called achene, is composed of a base containing the seed extended in a long beak carrying the silks spread out in a parachute. It is the transformation of the chalice that gives this parachute. When the weather is dry, the silks are spread out and wait for the slightest breath of air to detach and fly. This is how the seeds of the dandelion are sown, a dispersion perfectly suited to lawns, the preferred habitat of this species.
For the anecdote, this image of a woman blowing on the dandelion egrets is the mark of the Larousse dictionary, symbol of "knowledge sown in any wind".
The beekeeping interest
Dandelions are very rich in nectar and pollen. It produces pollen from the start of spring. As it blooms continuously into the fall, it is a valuable food source for bees.
In the 16th century it was called "herba urinaria" and used in kidney disease. It is a diuretic with the advantage of simultaneously maintaining the level of potassium, which is rich in it.
By its cholagogue and choleretic action, it increases the secretion of bile and its evacuation. Dandelion is therefore a general stimulant of the liver. It allows the evacuation of gallstones and kidney stones. Its diuretic action promotes the elimination of water in cases of fluid retention, renal failure, cellulite and obesity.
The most recent scientific discoveries make it a substitute for the rubber tree for the manufacture of rubber.
The plant is very rich in vitamins C and A (carotene): its leaves can be used in salads or soups.
You can taste the buttons in vinaigrette or preserve them in vinegar. The flower heads taste good and can nicely decorate a salad; the roots are bitter, the Japanese eat them fried in oil, with soy sauce. Roasted, they make a good coffee substitute. We also make dandelion wine, as an aperitif. Finally, carotene from dandelions was used in the past to turn butter yellow.
Our Dandelion honey
Our Dandelion honey was harvested by Vincent in France in the Bourgogne Franche Comté region, in the town of Semur en Brionnais.
This honey has very particular flavors that make it full of character. Floral notes burst out at the start and are followed by sweet notes at the end of the palate. Its texture is dense and creamy and its robe a magnificent yellow.
It will be appreciated on a toast of wholegrain bread for breakfast or simply with a spoon during a snack. A real discovery!