Thursday, August 12

Five Fun Facts About Dandelions

Dandelions are plants that people often take for granted.  Children love them and call them flowers.  Some grown-ups despise them and call them weeds. Regardless of we feel about dandelions, they play an important role in our ecosystem. Here are five fun facts about dandelions you can share with the children you work with.

Five fun facts about dandelions. Where do dandelions come from? Are dandelions edible? What animals eat dandelions? Do bees like dandelions? And more!


 

Dandelions were brought to North America by European settlers who used them as food and medicine.

Dandelions can be cooked or eaten raw. They contain vitamins A, B, C, and K. They also contain iron, calcium, and magnesium. Many people enjoy drinking dandelion tea or putting dandelion leaves in their salads. Have you ever tasted a dandelion?
      
Dandelions at each stage of the dandelion life cycle.

Dandelions are perennial.

That means they will grow every year on their own. Their growing season lasts from May until October.  Dandelions bloom twice during this time... once the spring and again in the fall.

Dandelions at each stage of the dandelion life cycle.

Dandelions are an important part of the food cycle for many animals. 

Even though a lot of people don't like dandelions and want to get rid of them, deer, rabbits, birds, insects, and rodents love to eat dandelion leaves, stems, and seeds.

Dandelions at each stage of the dandelion life cycle.

Dandelions spread when the wind... or children... blow their seeds into the air.

The seeds can travel hundreds of yards before landing on the soil and taking root. Some seeds can travel up to five miles when the wind conditions are right!

Dandelions at each stage of the dandelion life cycle.

Dandelions aren't a bee's first food of spring.

Even though we see bees eating nectar from dandelions, they actually prefer nectar from other blossoms. Nectar from willow trees, maple trees, fruit trees, calendula, violas, and borage are some of their favorites. Bees do eat nectar from dandelions... but only when they can't find it from other sources.


To watch a time lapse video of some dandelions going through their life cycle, check out this video by HDFlick Time Lapse.  Amazing!


To learn more about dandelion life cycles, check out my post Learning About Dandelion Life Cycles.  The post includes a craft idea and suggested read aloud!

Dandelion Life Cycle Craft by Kelly's Classroom Online

(Next Article: Rosh Hashanah Recipes)

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