Kentucky bluegrass is the grass that America has slathered all over itself, deeming any other plant within it a weed. Personally, I am a fan of natural lawns, you know, lawns with an abundance of various kinds of plants. It makes more since to me, especially because many other plants have much more value to the soil they grow in and to the environment around them. Moderation is key, anyhow.
The wildly hated Taraxacum officinale, or the dandelion, is number one on many a lawn owner's list. But it's very unfortunate.
Dandelions are 100% edible. Not only are they edible, but they are extremely beneficial to a consumer's health. They contain vitamins A, C, & K, Calcium, more potassium and iron than spinach, manganese, and more beta-carotene than carrots. The dandelion has been used to help treat fungal infections, bile and liver problems, and is a natural diuretic (maybe that's why I grew up calling them "pee pee flowers?"). There's even research going on about using dandelions for natural rubber production!
And gardeners, listen up, dandelions are actually beneficial next to your plants. Their long taproots help to transfer nutrients to shallower rooted plants, fix nitrogen into the soil, and release ethylene gas, which helps to ripen fruit! I’ve also heard tales of dandelion roots being used as a natural dye...so what’s not to love? Oh, and you haven’t forgot about dandelion wine, have you?
So next time you want to uproot the dandelion in your yard, maybe instead give him a little brush through his mane and thank him, or maybe just toss him on your salad.
PS I recommend doing personal research on dandelions and their properties before consuming, in case of any allergies.