Weeding is not a high priority around here. Many of us are comfortable with grass that is festooned with bright Dandelions. Besides, Dandelions are interesting. Their name, based on the French “dent” (tooth), means lion’s tooth, referring to the plant’s coarse leaves.
The entire plant is edible and there are some who say the flowers make a decent wine. More important, Dandelion flowers are virtually the first flowers to bloom in our often-cold early spring; they are lifesavers for emerging bees and other needy pollinators.
The tough Dandelion plants also come equipped with smart technology: they close their flowers at night and during rain to protect their pollen, a process known as nyctinasty. Here, they're staring to close:
The flower heads mature into "blowballs" containing single-seeded fruits attached to detachable hairs that become kite tails when the wind comes by at lifts a seed into the sky.
The flower heads mature into spherical seed heads called blowballs or clocks (in both British and American English) containing many single-seeded fruits called achenes. Each achene is attached to a pappus of fine hairs, which enable wind-aided dispersal over long distances.