"Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Europe, North America and Asia and two species, T. officinale and T. eruthrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide".
(copied from Wikipedia)
Somewhere I snapped up the term plant racism; and wouldn't this be an excellent example of it? Poor dandelions, they probably are just trying to regain their territory... And it definitely is not their fault that they are so well-adapted to the "disturbed habitats" of the modern world, such as lawns and other sunny, open places.
On Saturday, I had a walk at the Discovery Park in North Seattle, and found this wonderfully blooming field of dandelions and daisies. I thought it was so much prettier than a short-cropped lawn, but of course, many gardeners might argue with that. Then I learned that dandelion leaves are more nutritious than almost anything in the grocery store; higher in beta-carotene than carrots and the iron and calcium content is greater than in spinach. They also contain vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc...
So there we have this free, amazingly healthy vegetable growing on virtually every lawn, ready to be harvested. I remember how I once cooked dandelion buds and tried to eat them with butter, but I was totally disappointed, as the bitter taste was not at all asparagus-like as promised. Maybe it is time to search for some new recipes and get into action?