When moving around in urban areas, one can see dandelions everywhere. Beginning to bloom in May, it is to be found on road sides, on meadows and in all places where no gardener feels to be in charge.
2011, after I had painted a dandelion which was growing from a little gap between sidewalk, wall and a rainwater tube, I began to observe more specimens and did some research on the topic. In the wake of that I made a lot of paintings, drawings and print works of dandelions during the years 2012 and 13. A couple of objects were created as well.
Taraxacum sect. Ruderalis, that's the botanical name of the common dandelion, is a compositae, member of the asters family, which seeds out through little parachutes ( achenes with pappuses). All children know it by then at the latest as blowball. Dandelions have a very persistant taproot which can sprout new leaves ever again if it's not possible to remove it as a whole. The root can reach a lenght of one meter. I discovered a plant in the pavement of a bicycle track on a street corner which had grown to a considerable size within some years - a motive that I depicted several times.
The name dandelion is derived from the French language "dent de lion", the tooth of the lion and that's the same as "Löwenzahn" in German. The name refers to the serrated leaves. Interestingly in French common speech the plant is called "pissenlit" which means pee in the bed which points to the diuretic properties of dandelion and dandelion infusion. Young dandelion leaves serve as green salad which is considered to be a delicacy in places, the dried roots make a coffee substitute (chicory).
For botanists the lovely view of a lush yellow blooming meadow is a rather unpleasant sight, as I learned while joining in field excursions arranged by an association for natural sciences, NWV Bremen. It indicates fertilization with sewage which means that other endemic herbs and plants stand no chance while dandelion can take over easily. On the other hand, in the course of my observations I have found blooming specimens in extremely nutrient-poor places, even occasionally flattened by cars and exposed to the human tread - but despite that living and thriving!
Dandelion is a real success story that absolutely fascinates in terms of its tenacity. It's a symbol for shape diversity and a rebel against gardening order. It opens up a reason to look at our life environment from a new, different angle - from the dandelions point of view!