Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
This Florida native is a common plant found in natural areas, yards, cultivated gardens…pretty much everywhere! The dandelion is the only food source for a small bee (Hemihalicus lustrans) which is apparently the only pollinator. This plant is often found in the cool season, beginning in early fall and often lasting throughout the spring. Growth begins as a low lying rosette which eventually sends up 1 single stalked flower made up of many golden colored florets.
Dandelion, whether wild or cultivated, can be consumed as a salad green. In fact, there are a few large commercial growers of cultivated varieties of dandelion in Florida. The greens can also be used as cooking greens, while the flowers are often used to make dandelion wine. Most Florida residents are familiar with dandelions but not all of their potential uses. Floridians of all ages are used to the past time of blowing dandelion seeds and making a wish.
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights plants you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information/questions.