The term dandelion wrongly designates several plants with the same morphology. The dandelion is characterized by green, long and serrated leaves, as well as fleshy and hollow stems at the end of which are flat flowers with long and fine yellow florets. In reality, the dandelion belongs to the genus Taraxacum, of the Asteraceae family, whose representatives are distinguished by their achenes surmounted by a small tuft of silk which is scattered as soon as the wind picks up. Certain species of this family belonging to other genera, can also claim to be part of the dandelions.
The dandelion flower occurs in the wild in areas with a rather temperate climate. However, dandelions (Taraxacum) have the ability to withstand periods of extreme cold as encountered in Russia or Canada where many species are present. Cultivated for over a century and a half, this plant is sought after for its taste and medicinal properties. Its cultivation is mainly done in a rather cool and humid soil, exposed to the sun. Sowing takes place from March to June for picking at the end of winter. Meanwhile, water regularly and remove flower buds to stimulate plant growth.
The name dandelion (Piss-au-lit) comes from the diuretic and depurative properties of certain species of the genus Taraxacum, from the Ruderalia section. Dandelion officinalis is used as a supplement to conventional medicine in the form of herbal tea or decoction. It is indicated for digestive problems, liver problems, prevention of gallstones or urinary stones. The leaves are useful for joint and blood pressure problems.
Culinary uses of dandelion
Dandelion is easily eaten in salads. The dandelion salad is a traditional Lorraine recipe. To make it, just choose young and tender dandelions. In parallel, we fry bacon. The pan used to fry the bacon is deglazed with vinegar which is tossed hot on the dandelions. It also serves as an accompaniment and its flower buds appear in marinades.