The Dandelion

Blog - Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog

The Dandelion - 19 Apr 2006

Recently, I came across this quotation attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”

Nowadays, many people would classify the dandelion as a weed. However, as Euell Gibbons says in his book Stalking the Wild Asparagus, “…the botanical name of the common dandelion” (Taraxacum officinale) translates, approximately, into “The Official Remedy for Disorders,” the book’s chapter heading for the dandelion. Gibbons goes on to say, “But how the mighty have fallen! This herbal hero, one of the most healthful and genuinely useful plants in the materia medica of the past, is now a despised lawn weed.”

So, going back to Emerson’s quotation above, the dandelion would not qualify to be called a “weed,” since its many virtues were known in the past and, according to Gibbons, also saved lives!

Isn’t it interesting how children, before they are taught that dandelions are “just weeds,” enjoy this pretty yellow flower?

Years ago, I wrote this poem about the dandelion:

A Winner
By Mary T. Hoffman

The dandelion lifts his face
Sun-golden, strong, and proud.
He doesn't know he's commonplace;
His head is never bowed.

Ignored, or trampled by your feet,
He is a winner still.
Defiant, he can face defeat;
His spirit's hard to kill.

See also:
http://all-creatures.org/pics/wfshl-dandelion.html  
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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