Growing season is just around the corner. That also means, of course, the unwanted plants will also start sprouting (in fact, they already have). One of the chief culprits is that bothersome dandelion! Lawns get infested, flowerbeds invaded, and we wage an on-going war with that pesky little weed!
However, there is a lot more to the dandelion than meets the eye. In gardening circles it is known as Lion’s Tooth (also Irish Daisy, Priest’s Crown, etc.). The name is a corruption of the original French word, dent de lion, or “teeth of a lion,” so named because its notched leaves bear a resemblance to the teeth of a lion (have to use your imagination!).
Originally from Asia and Europe, it was first brought to North America (yes, someone brought it here!) because of its beautiful flower, and up till the early 20th century folks were actually buying packets of dandelion seeds for their gardens. But, it is more than just looks are involved; this humble little “pest” also has many medical uses. According to “Creation Moments,” up till 1957, more than 100,000 pounds of dandelion roots were imported annually to the U.S. for pharmaceutical use. In spring, the dandelion contains mannitol, used medically in the treatment of hypertension and coronary problems; plus it also has various industrial applications. Furthermore, it is edible, and tastes good – so I’m told – both cooked and raw. There is also dandelion wine and dandelion jam, and when roasted and ground up, can be used as a coffee. Who knew!
I don’t expect this will produce a change of heart when it comes time to pull weeds, but it does show that “weed” is a matter of perspective. Tastes change: At one time dandelions were deliberately planted, now they are just as deliberately removed!
More important than man’s changing tastes, however, is our Creator’s design. God gave man, “every green plant for food” and when He saw “all that He had made” it was declared “very good” (Gen.1:30-31). Therefore, regardless of our ability to comprehend it or not, we know all of God’s creation has purpose.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Rev 4:11)