It’s another bonny een in Aberdeen, and the flowers are fairly bloomin 🙂
How many of you are looking out on loads o yellow? The dandelions around us are just amazing – there’s been noone to cut the grass, so they’ve been able to grow, bloom and provide precious nectar for our waking insects.
Food for all
Did you know you can eat dandelions? And not just the flower – the leaves as well!
But they do need to be washed first to clean them of any dirt, insects or pee.
If you want to experiment, make sure you are using dandelions, and not a flower that looks like one – check below.
Leaf – the dandelion leaf is smooth and has wavy sides (apparently this looks like lion’s teeth, which is where the flower got it’s name!)
Flower – the dandelion has only one flower for each stalk.
Salad: why not pick a few young dandelion leaves to have with your lettuce? But avoid the bigger, older leaves – they are tough and bitter.
Tea: pick a few flowers, about 4, and remove the green base, which has a bitter taste. Pour on boiling water and leave to steep for a while. What do you think?
Dandelion fritters: https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/dandelion-fritters/
Dandelion and lemon biscuits: https://craftinvaders.co.uk/dandelion-and-lemon-biscuits/
Dandelion – from flower to seed
Dandelions begin to grow early – when the days start to lengthen, so do their leaves! An then the first flowers come:
Often there are many flower heads on one plant and once they bloom, the insects get busy sooking the nectar and some, like this bee, collecting the pollen to make food.
Have you noticed that dandelions close up at night and then open when the sun shines on them? Here’s one just thinking about opening:
When the flower is finished it begins to change from yellow to white:
It becomes fluffy like this:
And the seeds form:
As soon as wind or your breath blows on the seed head, the seeds begin to fly off:
They twirl away like wee parasols; you can see them more clearly here:
At the base of each ‘parasol’ there is a pod. Can you guess what is in it? Aye! the makings of new dandelions 🙂
Here’s a wee poem for you:
Dandelion, dandelion, yellow and bright
Your petals open with the light
Dandelion, dandelion with seeds as soft as down
Blow them in the air and scatter them around
Challenge – can you make up actions for this wee song?
Some birds depend on seed heads for food – like these goldfinches:
In most gardens we don’t see how dandelions continue to grow because they are cut back each time the grass is mown!
If you leave the dandelion plant, it will have a second flowering later in the summer – and this is great news for birds and insects 🙂
A clock that never ticks but says…
How much time will pass me by
Until my children spring up nearby… and I die.
Challenge – can you make up a riddle about something?
Ideas for riddles
Think of a word.
If I choose ‘sea’ – I think of: water, waves, sand…
Now think what the sea does or has in it.
So my brain thinks – waves…waving…
My riddle would be:
Always waving but never staying
I’d love to hear yours 🙂