Montana Outdoors

May 20, 2012


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:34 pm

Common Dandelion

Common Dandelion

Common Dandelion

Common Dandelion

Common Dandelions – Taraxacum officinale

Today the Dandelions growing where a small trout stream meandered through a bright green meadow were especially large and lush; seemed anything but “common”.



  1. Dandelions are the only weed I’ve grown to have somewhat of a fondness for. As far as weeds go, they’re pretty harmless, and they sure do add some color!


    Comment by aarontheisen — May 20, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

  2. Harumph! I never would call the dandelion a weed! You can pick it for bouquets, weave chains of it to wear in your hair, check to see who likes butter, feed it to your squirrel like candy, and make wishes on it when you blow all those lovely seeds into the surrounding yards! πŸ˜‰

    I know, I know. But I love them, and your photos of these fine, fat specimens are great. I’ve never noticed those little “loopy” things – they look rather like the Aries symbol.


    Comment by shoreacres — May 20, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    • And they are edible. I checked that page for them in my favorite plant book and it said, “Try coating the flower heads in flour and frying them in butter – they taste like morels.” Now that might be worth a try!


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

      • I think the flowers are by far the best tasting part of the dandelion. A lot of people are crazy about dandelion greens. I have tried them many times, but have never come close to developing a taste for them. But the flowers… those are good! I eat them raw, but I might have to try them as fritters. I understand you can make jam from them as well, but that’s another thing on the to-do list.


        Comment by jomegat — May 21, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

        • I’ve tried the greens and don’t care for them much either. Jam might be interesting though!


          Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

  3. too common…in my yard!


    Comment by Sandy — May 20, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    • Yes, I know they are not universally popular. I have removed more than a few from our flower beds.


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  4. They look like miniature sunflowers. Guess it’s true what they say – a weed is just a plant in the wrong place!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 20, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    • There’s a lot of truth in that saying. Or in the wrong person’s garden! Lol!


      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  5. The dandelions caught my cameras eye this weekend, too. I would have overlooked them because of their commonness if it was not for the furry bumblebees and butterflies having such a great time visiting each one. Your photos show how intricate they really are.


    Comment by bearyweather — May 21, 2012 @ 3:05 am

    • They do attract lots of insects, and it’s very good if they benefit the bees.


      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  6. Beautiful! Yellow is such a welcome color here in Wisconsin too!


    Comment by Ellen Grace Olinger — May 21, 2012 @ 4:05 am

    • The blossoms do add a lot of color to the scenery. They can be beautiful in wild meadows.


      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

  7. I don’t care if they are common, I like them. The bees do, too! We had some really beauties this spring, and now I see little white globes all over the back field.


    Comment by sandy — May 21, 2012 @ 4:56 am

    • I like them, although I’m not really fond of the seed heads and I’m aware that they can be a problem to gardiners and if they are concentrated they are not good at all for people’s lawns.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  8. Uncommon beauty on display by a common flower.

    To amplify Jo Woolf’s comment, weeds are just plants in a place WE deem wrong. The plant hardly perceives it as wrong, lacking the compulsion to rearrange and order that is so common to we humans.


    Comment by Dave at collinda — May 21, 2012 @ 5:55 am

  9. No flower looks common when someone who knows nature and knows his way around a camera takes its portrait.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 21, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    • I think flowers have personalities of their own. As dry as it has been here, I saw some wild roses that were shriveled even as buds, poor things. These Dandelions on the other hand were large and luxuriant and vibrant.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:06 am

      • That’s what being a ‘weed’ is all about and why they’ll still be here long after man created hybrids are gone.


        Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 22, 2012 @ 5:35 am

        • Interesting that what makes them a “weed” is key to their success. With the tap roots that these have it’s easy to understand how they can survive dry conditions better than most.


          Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  10. I’ll admit I am not a big fan of dandelion growing in my lawn but have seen them growing in scattered patterns across mountain meadows and find them quite beautiful in that setting. Thank you for taking the time to explore even the common. As we can see, even something that is thought to be common really is unique and beautiful in and of its self.


    Comment by anniespickns — May 21, 2012 @ 6:53 am

    • I think they fit very well in mountain meadows and along streams. I find them a very welcome sight on stream banks in summer and they don’t ever seem to get out of control there.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:07 am

  11. I think they are uncommonly beautiful when viewed so closely…and when they paint a meadow or park lawn…or alongside a trail…or stream…or…. πŸ™‚


    Comment by seekraz — May 21, 2012 @ 7:12 am

  12. Never common when it’s one of the first sights of spring and makes our hearts glad that winter is over. Now, when it’s the 15th time in one day that the kiddo’s bring “a flower for mommy” then it gets quite common fast! πŸ™‚ Love the yellow, it’s always sunny and bright and so cheerful. You are such a good photographer.


    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — May 21, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    • Thanks! Who is there who doesn’t have a good memory or two of Dandelions in their childhood?


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:09 am

  13. Hi Montucky, Nice picture. Like Dandelions? I have a bunch you can have! Ha! Kidding of course but I do have enough to spare here. Have a great day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 21, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    • Ha! It’s not likely that we will run short on them, is it!


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:10 am

  14. Love the flowers, HATE HATE HATE the appearance of the seed heads, and especially the spent seed head stalks sticking up out of a lawn.

    That’s why I track them down and decapitate every one I see, taking time to enjoy the bloom as I rip it off its stalk!


    Comment by Kim — May 21, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    • I agree that the seed heads in a lawn are not attractive, for one reason it shows that the lawn should have been mowed more often. For me they are a reminder of that.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:12 am

  15. Superb close-ups!!! I never noticed the curly things before. Neato! My great uncle used to make wine from the flowers. I never tasted it though…I was six when he showed me.


    Comment by dhphotosite — May 21, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    • I’ve always heard of the wine too, but I’ve never tasted it or tried to make it.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:13 am

  16. They are pleasant bursts of color in my memory, too. Great photos, per usual!


    Comment by Emily B — May 21, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    • I still have pleasant memories of them from my childhood, and that was a long time ago!


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:14 am

  17. I love dandelions! These are uncommonly beautiful!


    Comment by Anna Surface — May 21, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    • Yes, these were. I found it interesting that even though many of the other wildflowers were struggling in that area, these were doing exceptionally well. They were close to the stream though and maybe had more mist available to them.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:16 am

  18. In your photo, they’re as bright and cheery as sunflowers.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 21, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    • They are, and they are much softer than sunflowers. These in particular were as large as any I’ve ever seen.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:17 am

  19. Any flower is a good flower..weed or not you still make it look beautiful Terry !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — May 21, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

    • Thanks Bernie. A blossom is a blossom, and if we perceive beauty there, then there is I think. Though some folks don’t like these, at least everyone knows that they are not harmful to humans and child-safe!


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:19 am

  20. They may be considered “common”, but I think dandelions are very pretty. πŸ™‚


    Comment by alskamom — May 21, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    • I think they are too. The blossoms are just as cheerful as any others!


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:23 am

  21. They make a lovely little bouquet and left in the field make beautiful little puff balls that wisp away in the wind! (and they are green all summer!!)


    Comment by kcjewel — May 21, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

    • Those little puff balls have struck the fancy and fueled the imagination of children for probably thousands of years. And perhaps have taught a lesson in strategy as well.


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 12:25 am

  22. Lovely pictures and a great post Terry. It seems you’ve inspired a range of emotions here, from love to loathing!

    I fall on the side of really liking dandelions, the flowers and the seedheads. How would a child tell the time without them? Last year I watched a goldfinch in my garden deftly clasping the stalk of a dandelion seedhead with its claw and pulling it down to extract the seeds. It was a lovely scene.


    Comment by Finn Holding — May 22, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    • In the time I lived in a city, I wasn’t much of a fan of Dandelions, but when we started living in rural settings I started really liking them. They fit so much better into wilder settings, a trait I suppose I share with them. Now, if I only had their good looks!


      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

  23. Whoever called dandelions a weed? So beautiful and vibrant.


    Comment by Tammy — May 23, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    • From what I’ve read, the classification of a plant as a “weed” is a very subjective one. “Weedness” seems to be in the eye of the beholder.


      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

  24. Dandelions are complex. Too bad they got called a weed.


    Comment by badwalker — May 23, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    • They sure are. I like the comment above from Dave at Collinda that a weed is a plant growing in a place that we deem wrong.


      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

  25. As you know, I love dandelions. Nothing says spring quite like bright golden dandelions.


    Comment by kateri — May 23, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  26. They may be common as they sure are here, but I think they’re just dandy!


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 23, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    • I think they are too. If they were to be eradicated, which is not a likely possibility, I’d bet we would really miss them.


      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  27. I do like dandelions somewhat but they make my front yard look messy. These photos are great. I do wonder who decides a plant is a weed, what differentiates a weed from a non-weed. I’ve heard that lantana is considered a weed in the South Pacific but certainly not here in AZ.


    Comment by Candace — May 23, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    • “Weed” seems to be a completely subjective term and a plant can be a weed when growing in a particular place where it is unwanted, yet a flower in a different location such as a wild meadow by a stream. A bit like the glass half full or half empty perspective, isn’t it!


      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  28. Common? Well, too common on our lawn! By the way, have you noticed that when you mow grass your lawn on which there are Dandelions, so the next time they grow to a low level, not high. At least it is here the situation. Dandelions are learning to keep their β€œheads” down. πŸ™‚


    Comment by Sartenada — May 26, 2012 @ 2:31 am

    • Keeping their “heads” down is a funny thought, but true. They adapt to survive! I’m lucky, I have a very informal lawn, mostly just pasture grass that I planted as winter food for the deer. I mow it high though and if there are a few dandelions there, that’s OK too. I’m not really too happy with them invading the flower beds though.


      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

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