I’ve been settling into a new job in the tree world and this is why I’ve been quiet. With bursts of sunshine peeping through those grey clouds, I was itching to get out for a wander with my sketchbook and paints to take in the gardens’ display of rainbow colours before me. It was the sunshine yellow of the dandelions that shouted out to me the loudest as I walked by. ‘Draw me’, they said.
I settled down in a spot to sketch the dandelion at different growth stages. Have you looked at how this vibrant flower opens up, to exhibit its sunshine yellow?
Dandelion’s common name derives from the leaves’ jagged appearance. The Normans called it dent-de-lion, or “lion’s tooth.” The plant’s botanical name, Taraxacum officinalis, reflects its long history of medicinal use. The genus name comes from the Greek taraxos for “disorder” and akos for “remedy.” The species name, officinale, refers to its widely accepted use in medicine.
The plant is known to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia. In medieval time most people considered it a flower that symbolised fighting through the challenges of life, to emerge with victory on the other side. They are an early spring vital food source for pollinators. It is the most recognised plant by most people today.
The next time you are out for a walk, consider how long this little plant has been on our planet and it’s value to so many.
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