When you look at a field of dandelions, it is like bright drops of sunshine all over the ground. Dandelion flowers grow almost everywhere: in lawns and gardens, in sidewalk cracks and parks, on hills, in woods, and beside rivers. Many people call them weeds, but there are many interesting things to know about these sunshiny flowers that God made.
Go outside and pick two dandelion flowers and look at them carefully. A dandelion that is fresh and new has rounded petals with a tight little bunch in the middle. Older flowers have a thin, curly, pollen-specked stigma next to each petal. Do you know that each flower is really a bunch of little flowers called “florets” all stuck together? Carefully pull of one of the dandelion petals. This petal is the floret, and there are more than a hundred on one dandelion. Why don’t you try counting them sometime?
Dandelions are one of the best flowers for spreading their seeds everywhere. When you see a round, silver blowball, you are looking at a package of dandelion seeds, each with a silky parachute ready to sail away and grow. Where each petal used to be is now a small brown seed. Some seeds have been blown many miles by the wind and have grown up far from where the golden dandelion had been. A dandelion has a very long rott—sometimes longer than your leg—so even when it is pulled up, the plant grows back again. That is how God designed them to live a long time.
A dandelion plant is very useful. Many animals and birds eat its smooth, hooked-edged leaves and parachute seeds. Dandelions often grow where other flowers and plants can’t, like in the city. Here they are helpful because the bees and butterflies need flower nectar to drink. Another useful thing is that you can pick as many as you want! You can write with them on the sidewalk, or use them to make a bright bouquet to cheer someone up. So, even though people don’t like them in their lawns and gardens, dandelions aren’t just weeds.