Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

LET'S LOOK AT A DEAD DANDELION

Dandelions after the petals have gone.





Regular readers of Loose and Leafy will know I have a fascination with dandelions. Not only are the flowers uplifting, their leaves a refreshing shade of green and well shaped - 

Photo above cropped to show the tip of the ex-flower with the parachutes beginning to show



these plants bear very close attention.

Dandelion seeds with their parachutes hanging below the place where the flower was



Of all the flowers I know, they provide the closest to an infinity of beauty - especially when they are dying and turning to seed.

Centre of dandelion whence almost all its seeds have fled.





As posts go, this is pretty much pictorial. But the pictures prove the point - at least, I think they do - that there's nothing more wonderful than a dandelion.












30 comments:

lindaakacraftygardener said...

and there I thought I was the only one that took photos of dandelions :)
lovely series of photos

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi, Linda. I'm surprised more people don't like them. I know they spread easily but that is one of their virtues!

Gerald (SK14) said...

I've just been out less than an hour ago and photographed some dandelions - though only with my phone - not downloaded them yet - they won't be as good as these close-ups.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Gerald. I'm very fortunate with my camera. I'm glad to know you too find dandelions photogenic.

rusty duck said...

Hi Lucy. Your photos show just how beautiful they are, and supremely well adapted. I love the clear yellow of the flowers but I admit, I do snap off the seed heads or else they would be everywhere. Perhaps I should let a patch establish in the wilder part of the garden.

Naquillity said...

love your images especially the last three. we have them throughout our yard right now, :) i also have some violets running through part of the yard too. makes for a good amount of color... have a great day~

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Rusty Duck. For all that they have a long flowering season I don't suppose many people would want a garden that contains nothing but dandelions. But as they come up again each year (certainly some do, I don't know about all - there are so many different kinds) they could be treated as welcome perennials and the seed heads taken away, as you suggest. Trouble is, it's so tempting to pluck them and blow the seeds into the wind.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Thank you Naquillity. Violets are pretty too - though sometimes one has to look for them carefully. Or do you have so many they can't be missed?

Trella said...

I am one of the guilty ones who tries to keep the flowers and seed heads snapped off. And they still to take over, regardless! I also confess that as a youngster I loved blowing the seeds of those white power puffs to the wind. No more of course, as I carefully try to NOT disturb them as I pick them off! I am not into Dandelion tea or wine. But I have taken a few photos of them as well. I would rather not have my veggies have to compete with them.

Anna said...

Have mixed feelings about dandelions Lucy but full of admiration for their sheer tenacity. I do love dandelion clocks. Great photos. I found the last one fascinating as I've never really looked that closely at the centre before.

Gerald (SK14) said...

Just posted my photos on HDP and HDPX - have linked here from there.

amanda peters said...

Clear and good set of photos, I like the dandelion, it's one of the first flowers we see in Spring. They are bright yellow which is a bonus, and they are good for bees and butterflies and they just look as beautiful when they go to seed... What is there not to like.

Hollis said...

Lucy those are wonderful photos! I'm a big fan of dandelions. They seem so bright and colorful when they first appear in the spring, and they bring so much cheer! Ours are just starting btw.

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - dandelions are splendid, and often over looked flowers.

There will be some autumn colour from Australia on my blog soon!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi, Trella. With many plants - whether formally 'garden' ones or 'wild' and 'weeds' - it's often difficult to get the balance between welcoming them and letting them take over, despairing of them and admiring them. If you have vegetables, I imagine you need to hoe between the rows. But you take photos of dandelions (and maybe other plants) before you sweep them away. I'm a great advocate for using our cameras to 'see' things we would miss otherwise.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Anna. Their tenacity is certainly one of their more up-front qualities! Of the last picture . . . the first time I enlarged a photo of the centre of a dandelion I was taken aback by the way each seed has its own little slot and how the seeds are like darts with barbs; first to fix them to the plant as they ripen and later to fix them to the ground while they germinate. Until then I had been only conscious of the parachute element.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Amanda. I've been racking my brains to remember where I saw the flowers described as golden coins along the hedgerow and, so far, failing! But they are like that - as if one would be overwhelmingly rich if only one were to gather them into a basket.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Hollis. Are yours growing wild or in the garden? If they are in one of your rocky places I imagine they are of a different variety from these - there are over three hundred! (When I say variety, I may well mean species. I'm so unscientific I don't know the difference!)

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Stewart - and thanks. Looking forward to your autumn colour. We have another ;arge crop of dandelions later in the year - when the sun is bright. Some carry on right into the winter - so I think of them as multi-seasonal flowers. Another of their virtues.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

I actually grow them along with lots of plants some people consider as undesirable - for my tortoise Olly she loves them, well really she loves most plants, I have to watch for any that could be toxic to her but I do keep an eye out for those. :)

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

You grow them! How wonderful! Guinea Pigs like them too. It sounds complicated needing to know which plants are good and which poisonous for a tortoise and making sure Olly has one kind and not the other. I suppose I'd assumed they'd know for themselves. But, maybe, by the time they've found out - it's too late.

flightplot said...

I like them, and I'm happy to let them grow on my grass paths for the bees and butterflies to enjoy.
Fascinating photos. Flighty xx

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Olly is quite picky and even though forget me not plant is good she will not eat it same goes for mint - she adores sow thistles and red clover, note it has to be red won't touch white how does that work put the leaves in front of her and she can tell which are white - amazing creatures, but they are one of the oldest on the planet :) so probably know more than we like to admit to, she certainly has me jumping through hoops for her :)

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Great photos Lucy, they have to be one of the best adapted weeds we get, and so pretty it is hard to pull their heads off but given the way they are proliferating in and amongst my "posh" plants I fear I will have to become more ruthless. At least I know there will always be some to admire in the grass, pretty near impossible to completely get rid of them!

Pearl said...

I have to admit I like them as well. Here in the U.S., they can predict your affinity for butter (placed under the chin of course), burst their top with the childish chanting of "Mama had a baby and her HEAD popped off!" and, not least, they make an excellent wine. :-)

Pearl

Wildgardener said...

Fantastic photos, Lucy. It's good to look at something so familiar and be able to see the beauty in it.

Hollis said...

thanks for asking about our dandelions -- the vast majority are the common ones, introduced from across the Atlantic the way I understand it. But we do have some native ones, including some that grow in the alpine. I met up with some once, high up where only scattered low plants grow -- amazing -- I would love to see them again.

Rowan said...

I love dandelions too, they are beautiful when they are flowering but even more beautiful when the seedheads appear . Wonderful photos.

Diana Studer said...

those concertinaed homes for each seed are fascinating. Got my patch of dandelions flourishing outside the kitchen door. Emergency salad leaves.

Donna said...

Lucy you really have captured the beauty of this versatile plant that we love to eat (the leaves).