Dandelion is a yellow button-flowered member of the endive family. The mineral-rich leaves of this plant are commonly eaten as a gourmet salad green and have various other culinary uses as well. In addition to minerals, the leaves are potent sources of vitamins A, C, H and antioxidants. The flowers are used in traditional medicine to detoxify the liver and reduce inflammation. They also have diuretic properties that can help clean the kidneys. Some sources list dandelions as having anti-tumor properties. The stems and roots exude a sticky, white sap, which has been a traditional remedy for warts. Dandelion petals are also used to make dandelion wine, and the roots have been brewed into a coffee-like drink.
Dandelion is easily grown in a fertile, well-draining soil. It will tolerate most climates. A deep, loose soil will allow for the biggest roots. Full sun is recommended but not essential. Sow the seeds on the surface of moist soil. It may be easiest to start indoors or in covered containers to keep the seeds from blowing or washing away. Plants can be spaced about every 7”. Little care is required other than supplying good moisture. Dehydrated plants tend to be bitter. Harvest the leaves when young, especially the inner leaves.