7 Surprising Facts About Dandelions

Unexpectedly nutritious and tasty, dandelions have plenty of benefits.

  1. Pharmacists in 19th-century England made tea from roasted dandelion roots. The drink is still trendy today, thanks to a coffeelike taste and color without caffeine.
  2. A cup of chopped raw dandelion greens provides 112 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A (at only 25 calories).
  3. From blossom to root, 100 percent of this weed, which is also an herb, is edible for most people.
  4. Dandelion flowers reach heights of 6 to 24 inches, and roots go as deep as 10 to 15 feet.
  5. Dandelions are part of the daisy family, one of the biggest in botany with more than 1,620 genera of plant types.
  6. A single dandelion head consists of up to 300 ray flowers that look like tiny petals at first glance.
  7. Ray Bradbury’s 1957 novel Dandelion Wine gets its title from the wine the characters make and drink in summer.

Kaitlin Stainbrook
Kaitlin Stainbrook, Associate Editor, Birds & Blooms Although Kaitlin is a newbie when it comes to birding and gardening, she loves getting to learn on the job. (She's already impressed a few friends by being able to identify a couple songbirds!) Previously, she worked on other Reader's Digest magazines like Reminisce and Country Woman. Hidden talents include playing the ukulele and speaking Japanese.