This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Although a common weed, and therefore disliked, yet a mass of dandelions, when in bloom early in May, presents one of the most gay and rich golden shows possible to be created. With a little care, to prevent them from going to seed, a bed may be kept within bounds, as I happen to know; and no plant that we have will at the same season, and with the same amount of labor and care, present a more gorgeous display of flowers.
This very common plant, that adorns our grass plats and pasture grounds, with its bright, golden-colored flowers, from the first opening of spring until late in September, grows spontaneously in the four quarters of the globe; from near the poles to beneath the equator; on the margin of rivers and streams, as well as on sterile rocks; has various qualities that are seldom met together in any description, if ever heretofore combined in one. I shall not stop to describe this very common and well-known plant. I
Dr. Gray, in his late Manual of Botany, reverses the old name, "Leonto-don taraxacum" no doubt for sufficient reason, to that of Taraxacum dene-leonis.
Our common English name, " Dandelion," is a corruption from the French name, "Dent-de-lion," which, like the German name, "Lowenzahn," and the old Greek name, "Leontodon," has its allusion, from the runcinately-toothed leaves, to the tooth or teeth of a lion. Our other common name of "Piss-abed" is also after the French name "Le piss-enlit," derived from its diuretic qualities. The other German names of "Pfaffenrohrlein" and "Dotterbluh-men" are not so clear. Thus much as to its name. Next its properties.