Dandelion

Dandelion

Description

 Dandelion is a plant with a branched taproot up to 2 cm thick and up to 60 cm long, in the upper part turning into a short many-headed rhizome.

The leaves are all in the basal rosette, from almost parallel to the ground upright, in some species on the petiole, the plate in outline is oblong, obovate, back-lanceolate or linear-back-lanceolate, whole, pinnately-lobed or pinnately-dissected, either naked or in rare cases, slightly hairy.

Flowering arrows in the number from one to ten or more, erect or ascending, hollow, carrying a single basket, bare or pubescent in the upper part. Podchashie persisting, from, as a rule, 8-18 bracts from broadly ovate to lanceolate form, located in two - three rows. A wrap is bell-shaped or cylindrical-bell-shaped, usually with two to three rows of 7-25 leaflets, protruded during flowering, interlocking during fruit ripening and splayed after ripening. Flowers 20-150 in a basket, all reed, usually yellow, in some species greenish, cream, pink. Anthers are usually yellow or creamy yellow, stigmas are yellow, greenish, less often greyish or blackish.

All parts of the plant contain thick white milky juice.

Dandelion blossoms, depending on the climate of the area: in March - April, in central Russia in mid-May - early June, bears seeds with a white tuft from late April to June.

Economic value and application

 Dandelion root medicinal (Latin Radix Taraxaci), accumulating in the fall to 40% of inulin, is used as a medicinal raw material. Dried root is used in the form of a decoction, thick extract as bitterness to enhance the secretion of digestive glands and as a bile agent, strengthens and heals the liver. Dandelion root tincture stimulates appetite, has antispasmodic, laxative and blood-purifying properties.

Dandelion has long been used in food by various nations, it was used by both the ancient Chinese and the first settlers in the Americas. Its young leaves and stems containing carotenoids and vitamin B2 are almost devoid of bitterness and therefore are often used for making salads and borscht, roasted roots can serve as coffee substitute, make dandelion from the dandelion flowers and make wine, “dandelion honey” is made from the opened buds.

Dandelion - food for domestic rodents, including rabbits.

Dandelion is also popular in folk cosmetics: the mask from its fresh leaves nourishes, moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin, and the infusion of flowers whitens freckles and pigment spots.

Dandelion is a valuable spring pollen and honey plant, giving bees a supporting bribe for 10-15 days. Honey from nectar of dandelions of golden-yellow or dark-amber color, thick consistency, with a strong aroma and a sharp unpleasant bitter taste, quickly crystallized by a coarse-grained cage. Pollen pollen - orange.

In Russia, the most common is Dandelion officinalis (Taraxacum officinale), whose leaves contain iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, B, C, E, as well as up to 5% protein.

The roots of some types of dandelions contain rubber. Two types of dandelions - Koksagyz (Taraxacum koksaghyz) and Krymsagyz (Taraxacum hybernum) - were first cultivated as rubber plants. The roots of Kok-Sagyz, an endemic of the eastern Tien Shan, contain up to 20% of high-quality rubber. There are new proposals for the breeding of rubber dandelions.

Dandelion - a malicious weed, the fight against which is difficult. Root shoots and lateral roots are formed on the root segments. The ability to regenerate is very high at the end of the fruiting plants, and during the budding and flowering phases it is suppressed. Therefore, plots of land littered with dandelion are recommended to be treated with cutting tools in the budding phase.