The French meaning for dandelion is “pee the bed”. Every part of this plant is edible, from the root, to the leaves, and the flower! These greens are tasty in salads and packed with vitamins. A cup of dandelion greens would give you about 112 per cent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A and 535 per cent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin K, and other things like calcium, iron and magnesium. Their roasted roots are a delicious substitute for coffee and valued as a medicinal herb.
The longer that you leave dandelions to grow, the more bitter they taste. Dandelion blossoms should be picked when the flower heads are a full, bright yellow, which is usually right after they have opened.
Dandelion roots can be harvested anytime during their growing cycle, but it’s best to pick them between late fall and early spring. Dandelions are self-seeding, so if you wait too long to harvest, their seed heads will emerge and the wind will disperse the seeds to another location.