Name

Dandelion

Latin

Taraxacum

Secret Meaning

Faithfulness

Alternative Names:

blowball, cankerwort, doon-head-clock, witch's gowan, milk witch, lion's-tooth, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest's-crown, and puff-ball; other common names include faceclock, pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, swine's snout, white endive, and wild endive.

Facts & Folkore:

Dandelions are native to Eurasia and North America, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as commonplace wild flowers worldwide. Both species are edible in their entirety.

Dandelions are thought to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia and have been used by humans for food and as an herb for much of recorded history.

The common name dandelion is from French dent-de-lion, meaning "lion's tooth", referring to the coarsely toothed leaves. The plant is also known as blowball, cankerwort, doon-head-clock, witch's gowan, milk witch, lion's-tooth, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest's-crown, and puff-ball; other common names include faceclock, pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, swine's snout, white endive, and wild endive. The English folk name "piss-a-bed" (and equivalent French pissenlit) refers to the strong diuretic effect of the plant's roots.

At least once in mythical history, the dandelion played an important role. In Greek mythology, Theseus was said to have eaten dandelions for 30 days to fortify himself for his battle with the Minotaur, a half man-half bull that demanded the sacrifice of seven Athenian youths and seven maidens, drawn by lots, every seventh or ninth year. Other reports say that Theseus ate a dandelion salad after defeating the minotaur.

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