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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

The Humble Dandelion

One of my earliest memories is of finding the most beautiful flower in the world, it was the prettiest color of yellow, amazingly soft, and deliciously fragrant. I loved it instantly.

I was a little over two years old, and the flower's name was dandelion*. "Throw it away, it will stain your fingers." The babysitter disapproved of my newfound delight. She snatched it from me, then seeing that I was unhappy she held it under my chin and crooned, "If your chin turns yellow it means you like butter." Well, I knew that was nonsense. But she was all that I had at the moment so I asked her what it was called. "Dandelion, and they are nasty plants, they take over the grass and make the yard ugly." I was dismayed to hear my new-found flower love condemned, and I went around into the backyard to think about this by for myself. I was old enough to know that once something had a name everyone had an opinion about it, and the opinions were usually rock-solid, unchangeable. If I had a different opinion that did not matter (yet). I thought of naming the pretty plant something else, but that would not work because then how would I talk about it to other people? I would always love dandelions but nomenclature rules, the very word dandelion was set in stone.


* "The entire plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and roots, is edible and nutritious. Dandelions are found on 6 continents and have been gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties commercially cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia and North America. A perennial plant, its leaves grow back if the taproot is left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness, or sauteed (sic) in the same way as spinach. Dandelion greens have been a part of traditional..."Source:

The very word dandelion is set in stone.

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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