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Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale

Family of compositae

This is a very common herb of meadows where it flowers in spring with beautiful yellow flowers, then they change and become like small ball full of seeds, which are ready to be blown away by the wind. Children are used to play with them by blowing the seeds and if one counts the remainders it is possible to discover if children lie or not.

The plant is medical and its root is used for this purpose because it has tonic and diuretic properties. But the whole plant owns these properties even if at a lower level. It is a good ingredient for salads and it is locally called "radicchio dal bottone", it can also be used as cooked vegetable because it has a pleasant bitter flavour. The blossoms can be put in vinegar. the toasted roots were once used to substitute coffee.

Picture and text of Tebaldo Lorini
Translated by Gianna Toni

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