Dandelion(Fr. dent de lion; leontodon taraxacum, Linn.), a well known plant of the order composite, with a perennial root, tubular leafless flower stalks, and bitter milky juice. The spreading toothed leaves spring from the rootstock near the ground, and when blanched are used as a salad; the root also is sometimes roasted, and used as a substitute for coffee, or to adulterate it. Under cultivation the plants are forced to extraordinary size, to vend in the spring for a popular and much esteemed pot herb under the name of greens. The fruit is tapering and surrounded by feathery hairs. In medicine, the expressed juice, especially of the root, has been employed for its aperient, detergent, and diuretic properties, and should be used while fresh. The flowers are very conspicuous in the meadows in early spring. The common and generic names, both meaning lion's tooth, were given from a fancied resemblance of its single florets.
Dandelion (Leontodon taraxacum).