Do dandelions deserve their status as a weed?
(FOX 2) - Can a plant be a weed while also being desirable?
That yellow flower-esc plant that sprouts in the spring before taking a more fuzzy shape as it prepares to send its seeds elsewhere has put that question to the test.
Dandelions may look pretty, but they're persistent like weeds. Getting rid of them is also not easy since once their heads poke out of the ground, their tap root could be as much as 18 inches deep, which makes hand-pulling futile.
And mowing them could prove too difficult too since they only need 1 inch of a root to regenerate. That's a big headache for anyone looking for uniformity in their lawn.
But dandelions aren't just a nuisance. They're an early spring pollinator and help aerate what can be packed soil.
And now their roots, which have rubber material in them, are being harvested to make tires. Russian dandelions are now being used to make bicycle tires. There are future plans to use them in the manufacturing of trucks and agricultural machinery.
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Their usefulness doesn't stop there, however. Dandelions also have medicinal benefits and can be brewed in tea and sometimes are used to make salads. They have a bevy of nutrients or can even be fried or used to make wine.
Just make sure you're not consuming any dandelions sprayed with pesticides.