Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale
Common names: Dandelion, Lowball, Crankerwort, Lions Tooth,Priests Crown, Swines Snout, White Endive,Wild Endive.
Dandelions are a perennial herbaceous tap rooted plant that form a rosette of leaves.The leaves are between 5-25cm in size and grow from the central root. The leaves are jagged in appearance which is where it gets its name Dandelion, which in french means lions tooth.
The rosette can produce more than one stem which holds a single yellow flower. Each stem is hollow and when cut exudes a white milky latex and can grow to around 30cm in length. The flower can grow to around 5cm in size and is completely made up of florets(lots of small flowers making one big flower)When each of the flowers matures they turn into seeds.These seeds then turn the dandelion into the familiar looking plant that you used you blow as a kid and make a wish dispersing the seeds in the process.
All parts of the dandelion are edible but have some degree of bitterness. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, with the smaller leaves being less bitter . The flowers can be added to salads and can also be used to make beer and wine. The roots can be roasted and ground down to make a coffee substitute.
All parts of the plant have found their place in various traditional as well as modern medicine. Dandelion has been used to treat: Urinary tract infections,Liver and gallstone issues,helps reduce blood cholesterol,normalise blood sugar levels, helps aid digestion, may help absorb iron helping with anaemia.
if you do some more research you will no doubt find more uses.