The dandelion is best known -- and feared -- by gardeners as a remarkably persistent lawn weed, but its leaves are actually high in vitamin A and four times higher in vitamin C than lettuce. It's also versatile: Dandelion leaves are used raw in salads or boiled like spinach. The roots can be roasted and made into a coffee-like drink.
The dandelion is a hardy perennial that is grown as an annual for its foliage and as a biennial for its roots. The jagged green leaves grow in a short rosette attached by a short stem to a long taproot. Bright yellow flowers 1 to 2 inches wide grow on smooth, hollow stalks.
Common Name: Dandelion
Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale
Hardiness: Hardy (may survive first frost)
In the next section, we'll show you how to grow dandelion.