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Reddish Vale Country Park

Flowers/May

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Dandelion

The dandelion is a short plant, usually with a yellow flower head and notched leaves. A dandelion head consists of many tiny flowers.

The dandelion is also known by it's generic name, Taraxacum. They are tap rooted biennial or perennial herbaceous plant.

 

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Over 250 species of dandelion have been recorded in the the British Isles alone, although some botanists only accept a total of about 60 species.

The flower matures into a globe of fine filaments that are usually distributed by the wind. The globe is known as a dandelion clock, the number of blows required to completely rid the clock of seeds is deemed to be the time of day.

In Germany the seed head is called a Pusteblume, translated as "blow flower".

There are usually 54 to 172 seeds produced per head, but a single plant can produce more than 2000 seeds a year.

The name dandelion is derived from the old French, dent-de-lion, which literally means "lion's tooth". The first written usage of the word occurs in an herbal dated 1373, but there is a 1663 document in which the word "dandelion" was used as a proper name.

The German name for the dandelion is Lowenzahn, which also translates to "lions tooth".

In modern French the plant is called pissenlit, which means "urinate in bed", apparently referring to its diuretic properties. Likewise the old English name for the dandelion is "pissabeds".