Updated: Apr 17
Taraxacum officinale also known as the common Dandelion comes form the French dent de lion, meaning Lion's tooth and refers to the tooth like appearance of the plants leaves.
This little flowering herbaceous perennial is native to Europe and Asia and was originally imported to other countries as a food crop, but over time it has become less desirable as the fashion for flat green lawn became popular.
But could this 30 million year old plant be able to help dwindling bee populations?
Dandelions are early spring flowers and can provide bees with a good source of pollen and nectar when the more beneficial pollinators like fruit trees are not yet flowering. If there are more dandelions around then there would be more early spring food for the bees and more bees would be able to eat, and therefore more bees would survive early spring.
So what can you do to help save the bees? Ecologist have been suggesting that if possible let some dandelions grow freely in your lawn. All you have do is leave a section of your yard un mowed (and don't use poison) during early spring so cloves, daisies, creeping butter cup and dandelions have the chance to flower, and in turn feed the bees.
But please keep in mind that although dandelions are helpful, bees can not survive on them exclusively as they do not contain all the amino acids bees need to make protein. If possible you could add more bee beneficial plants (Aster, Borage, Calendula, Cosmos, Geranium, Snowdrops, Sunflowers or Zinnia), a herb garden or fruit trees to your garden to make food more easily available for our powerful pollinating friends.
Why not leave a comment on your thoughts on the issue. Will you leave dandelions growing in your yard?