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Friday Finds

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Friday Finds


Today’s find is a Dandelion Clock – Taraxacum officinale

 On my way to the beach I walk along a straight road which is about ½ mile long, it has trees, bushes and grass and in the there are all sorts of flowers and one that stands out is the dandelion.

                                warkworth beach walk the strandline maureen gilbertson
 orange tip butterfly the strandline northumberland 250x250  


With it's bright yellow head composed of hundreds of smaller florets it definitely makes a statement. The flower heads mature into spherical seed heads called ‘clocks’, containing many single-seeded fruits called achenes.  Each achene is attached to a pappus of fruit hairs, which enable wind-aided dispersal over very long distances. I know as a child we would ‘tell the time’ by counting the number of puffs it took to blow away all the fruits on their small parachutes and the grown-ups would complain that we were helping the plant to spread :)


The resemblance of the sharp pointed lobes of the dandelion leaves to the tooth of a lion give the flower it’s common name which is a corruption of the French words ‘dent de lion’, or lion’s tooth.  Because the dandelion was and still is used as a diuretic it led to it having many common names, here in Northumberland it is called Pittley Bed and around the country are many more names including Fairy Clock, Tiddle-beds, Jack-piss-the-bed and Pissey beds to name a few. I'd love to know what they're called in your neck of the woods!

The flower heads and leaves can be added to salads for both colour and a bittersweet taste, the leaves are quite tart, but the flowers have a delicate honey flavour.

 I think it’s a beautiful plant especially when seen in the wild, maybe not so much when it’s in my garden :)


                               dandelion clock 250x250


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