Monday, April 5, 2010

Just a weed!

Well, it's starting to feel like spring. The days are longer with the additional boost of Daylight savings making it light even later. Signs of spring are beginning to appear: tiny buds, puffy clouds, birdsong. And dandelions. Yes, the scourge of the tastefully manicured lawn is one of the first plants to show it's face in spring. Dandelions don't need any special place to grow.  In fact they are annoyingly hardy and will grow almost anywhere, defying belief with their rugged tenacity.
I spotted these bright smiling faces at the foundation of a house bursting forth from a crack in the cement.
So, is it a weed?   Webster defines a weed as "a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is ususally of vigorous growth, especially one that tends to overgrow or  choke our more desirable plants."  Weed!  Case closed!  Right?
Well... I can remember my grandmother talking about dandelion greens and how healthy they were.   Rebecca Wood notes: "Dandelion greens are one of season’s earliest foodstuffs and one of the finest of spring tonics. Indeed, they are the most nutritious leafy vegetable you can buy."  They are chic now!
They have been used since at least the tenth century Arabian doctors.  They are used for detox helping the gallbladder and the liver remove waste from the body.  Chinese herbalists use parts of the plant to treat ailments including tonsilitis, colds, ulcers and boils.
And Danedlion wine!  It's made from the petals of the flowers with sugar and some lemon juice or other acidic component.
So, nasty weed or useful, helpful plant with positive attributes?
Sounds like an issue of real estate.  Location, location, location!

No comments: