The Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale


The dandelion has to be the number-one recognised plant in the UK. Just step out of your front or back door and you'll be sure to come across one in a matter of seconds - you may even have spent many a day trying to dig them up or burn them from the cracks in your pavement! Many kids too are familiar with this plant, and have perpetuated the age-old notion that they make you "wee the bed"! Dandelions are 100% edible, from root to flower head, and can be used for a multitude of purposes in the kitchen, from salads, stews and soups, to desserts, syrups and drinks. A truly versatile edible that's instantly recognisable and super-easy to find.

Dandelion Checklist


πŸ‘ Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🏑 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🏒 Urban Environments, wasteland, Streets and pavements.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
🌳 Deciduous Woodland.
🌲 Coniferous Woodland clearings and edges.
🌊 Waterways, including rivers, canals and streams.


πŸŒΈπŸŒžπŸ‚β„οΈ Jan - Dec


☘️ Green with heavily toothed edges, growing in tight rosettes. releases a milky sap when cut.


️🌷 Large, pretty yellow flowers with many petals.


🌱 Stems are green-red, slightly hairy and hollow, and exude a white sap when cut.


🍠 Has a large, cream to pale brown taproot.

Fruit / Seeds

🍏 The flowerheads turn into a beautiful sphere of seed parachutes which are dispersed by the wind (or a child's breath!).

Edible Parts

☘️ Leaves
🌷 Flowers
🌱 Stem
🍠 Root

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ The flowerheads smell sweet and floral.
πŸ‘… Young leaves are very bitter raw, but improve with cooking.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
πŸ‘€ The very familiar flowerheads, the toothed, lettuce-like leaves, and the delicate circular seed balls, are the key identifiers of this plant.


πŸ₯— Salad - The flowers and leaves can be eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - The flowers can be used as a garnish.
πŸ₯¬ Green - The leaves can be cooked like spinach.
β˜•οΈ Beverage - The flowers and leaves can used to make teas or other drinks.
🍨 Sweet - The flowers can be used to make desserts, puddings and syrups.
πŸ’Š Herbal Remedy - this plant often used medicinally.