George W's picture


Observed: 1st April 2011 By: George WGeorge W’s reputation in PlantsGeorge W’s reputation in PlantsGeorge W’s reputation in Plants

Our English name of 'dandelion' is a curruption of the French name which meant 'tooth of the lion' which its leaves are supposed to remind us of (mind you, I don't know how many lions baring their teeth are, or were, roaming around France). It is also known as 'Wet-the-bed' because of its diuretic properties. However this is a really useful little plant - All of it is edible and it is rich in vitamins A and C. Its leaves and fresh root make a tea substitute. Its root, when dried, makes a coffee substitute. Its buds can be pickled. The flowers can be used to make wine. When you blow on the plant when it has gone to seed it will tell you if that person you are really keen on loves you or loves you not and, when its seeds drift in the air they turn into fairies. You still want to call it a 'just weed'?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) interacts


JonathanWallace's picture

In French it is also known as

In French it is also known as 'pisse en lit' which means wet the bed. The fact that in both French and English it has acquired this name suggests that it must have diuretic properties. Can anyone comment on whether or not this is actually the case?

Jonathan Wallace

anonymous spotter's picture

Diuretic -

yes, used medicinally in the past. Try some young leaves or flowers in a salad if you want proof. Can't say I find it very tasty: it does make good wine, though in that case it is harder to say whether the diuretic effect comes from the flower or the volume of liquid!