Most people enjoy as many dandelions as they can because it looks like a puff ball especially with the seeds blowing. It is a flower you can make a wish on by blowing on its seed head. The sudden outburst of joy seeing the seeds fly!
Little kids were the first to make these beautiful blooms popular. There is a surprising amount of seeds on each floral head similar to the petals of a daisy to make wishes. Harnessing the sun’s power, a dandelion has many uses in the field of ornamentals, culinary, and medicine.
These flowers hold a deeper meaning and symbolism in its history and flower colors. For example, a white dandelion means fulfillment while a pink one symbolizes affection. A yellow or orange dandelion represents happiness or playfulness.
Many have even come to say that growing Dandelions is like growing a genie to grant you wishes.
History of the Dandelion Plant
Dandelions were first described in the 14th century. The history of these flowering plants are traced back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The botanical characteristics include being a yellow composite herbaceous plant with milky white sap, dark green leaves, and profound flowers.
This perennial plant was primarily cultivated then as a food staple and traditional medicine. Dandelions grow in the most challenging conditions and are considered as a common weed. These resilient plants are planted during early spring to mid spring and are known to survive the harsh winter.
With over more than 250 species, dandelions are mainly native to Europe and Asia. Thanks to the early expeditions, these flowers made their way to North America through the Pilgrims in the 1620s. It was then introduced as a medicinal herb originating from the Mediterranean regions.
The word dandelion is taken from a Middle English word Dendelyeon and the Anglo-French Dent de lion phrase. Both of the name dandelion translated to the meaning Lion’s tooth because of how the flower’s leaves resembled the animal’s teeth!
Dandelions belong to the genus Taraxacum of the Asteraceae family or Aster family. The genus name or scientific name takes after the Greek words Taraxos and Akos meaning a disorder remedy. It can also take after an Arabic word which means a bitter herb.
Dandelions are also called by many green thumbs as the Lion’s Tooth, Blowball, or Puffball. The all-time-favorite species of this plant is known as the Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale or Taraxacum pseudoroseum).
Other beautiful species of dandelions include the Red-seeded dandelion (Taraxacum erythrospermum), the Japanese dandelion (Taraxacum albidum), Kazakh dandelion or Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok saghyz) and the Korean dandelion (Taraxacum platycarpum).
The humble dandelion has quite a few amazing symbolisms that highlight why many wish upon their seeds!
For centuries, people have also believed that the number of blows and seeds left on the flower could predict many futures. In the Victorian language of flowers, dandelions represent a rustic oracle.
It was said to be a symbolic flower that can see many prophecies – and why the children (or adults) of today blow a wish upon the flower for many things.
Meanwhile, some far-flung regions in England beg to differ. English countryside folk believe this flower was a symbol of the devil’s milk pail. Many would tell stories about how wishing upon this flower is like making a deal with the devil. But in reality, it had white sap and was a difficult plant to kill and was named like that to scare the kids!
Others say it was a symbol of cosmic harmony and prosperity because of the dandelion’s round shape and loose seeds. Similarly, the loose seeds of these flowers were said to symbolize fertility and go perfectly with the saying go forth and multiply as the seeds are blown away.
Today, a dandelion is a modern symbol for good luck when given to newly married couples. It can symbolize healing and the power of one to rise above life’s challenges. When used in ritual magic, these flowers are known to give one abundant strength to face everyday.
Meaning of Dandelion Flowers
Literally speaking, the etymological meaning of dandelions takes after a the tooth of a lion because of the leaves’ resemblance. If you think about it, whenever kids lose their teeth or fall off, the Tooth Fairy would exchange it for gold (or money). A few folks believe that this is the true reason why a Dandelion was named after the tooth of a lion.
As the seeds fly away with a blow, a wish is to be granted! With that being said, a dandelion flower meaning stands for making wishes or deepest desires. More often than not, children who wish upon this flower want something materialistic like candy, toys, or puppies!
Adults who wish upon this flower though want something different. This flower and wishing upon its seeds speaks of requited affection and heartfelt sympathy.
Dandelion flowers come in a few colors and there are different meanings behind each. Here is a list of those colors and their meanings.
What does a White Dandelion Flower Mean?
The most blown away and common white dandelions out there have white flowers and seeds! After blowing on it and making a wish, this flower will mean fulfillment and that your wishes are about to come true!
What does a Bright Yellow Dandelion Flower Symbolize?
Like all the bright yellow flowers from the Aster family, yellow dandelions can only mean one thing. A bright yellow flower blazing like the sun.
These deep yellow flower heads are symbolic of nothing but your genuine happiness. Besides this, these yellow blooms or golden flowers symbolize new beginnings.
What does an Orange Dandelion Floret Indicate?
Orange dandelions have a very special meaning. Usually, such flowers indicate flirtatious behavior for adults. But for children and innocent hearts, this flower means playfulness and high energy.
What does a Pink Dandelion Blossom Represent?
Dandelion flowers with pink petals often represent sweet affections and pure emotions. Similarly, these blossoms stand for the faithfulness of friends with one another and the loyalty in love of partners.
Pink dandelions are perfect for your romantic interest!
What is the Cultural Significance of a Dandelion Flower?
Many cultures have given importance to the dandelion. Various cultures in Asia value these plants for more than just their flowers. Taraxacum blossoms have a strong foundation in some different cultures in Asian countries and the Mediterranean.
In Persia, the dandelion was referred to as a bitter herb referring to the aftertaste of the edible leaves. Meanwhile, the Chinese called it the Pu Gong Ying or the Earth Nail because of its long taproot.
Both cultures were very fond of its medicinal properties. As early as 900 C.E, Persians began using these flowers for medicinal purposes. Traditional Chinese herbalists not only used it for medicine but also as an essential ingredient for cooking.
Nowadays, Taraxacum blossoms are mostly considered weeds because they can propagate quickly with their seeds just flying away.
What is the Biblical Meaning of the Dandelions Flowers?
Dandelions weren’t always an iconic symbol of wishful thinking and youthfulness. The Gothic period clearly interprets the deep symbolic meaning of dandelions to religion and the Bible. The symbolic meaning is very far-fetched from the very popular youthful and cheerful meaning of kids.
According to many believers, the Taraxacum flowers, especially the white species, symbolized the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Additionally, it also meant grief and sadness over the death of a loved one or the tragic loss.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of the Dandelion Flowers?
Dandelion blossoms are not only oracles and floral genies. They also hold within the petals and seeds a spiritual power that affects emotions, thoughts, and the body. Its floral essence is an important spiritual charm that promotes healing from past traumas and current struggles.
It is a beacon of happiness that brings back all the good memories during youth – a genie in a flower that grants wishes and reminisces the good times.
With all the wishes and high hopes, this flower will also remind you to stand your ground and help you remember where you came from. It is a simple flower that will also remind you to be humble.
Many have also believed that dandelions symbolize cosmic harmony – and it does. It guides the soul on journeys of divination and gives the body a sense of spiritual balance.
What are the Folktales Associated with a Dandelion Blossom?
Taraxacum flowers have established their popularity as fortune-tellers of love and time. Many believed it had the special ability to predict the weather. Early folks believe that if the seeds fly off without blowing or any wind, a storm is coming!
Nowadays, tales about blowing on these flowers have gained it even more fame – especially for kids and young adults. Many believe that if you blow on a dandelion flower, it will grant you any wish you pray for and is a symbol of hope.
Similarly, blowing the flower and counting the number of seeds left predicts the number of years you will live! Another saying goes that if you want to send a heartfelt message to your loved one, all you had to do was blow on a dandelion.
Mostly known as a floral genie that grants wishes, a dandelion has more than just an oracle-related folktale about it. It was sometimes referred to as a Shepherd’s clock because it tells the time. Specifically, when the flowers open it means the early morning, and when it closes it means the evening!
In Greek mythology, dandelions are sacred to Hecate. She fed Theseus the plant for 30 days before battling the Minotaur.
What does a Dandelion Floral Tattoo Symbolize?
Choosing a Dandelion tattoo isn’t an expression of childishness or escaping reality because of its symbolic meaning of wishing and fortune-telling. It is chosen by those who are young at heart – those who want to keep their memories close to heart.
Dandelion tattoos are an expression of art that portrays happiness and hope amidst the struggles of life. It is a reminder of the youthful innocence within each and every one.
Uses of Dandelions
Dandelions are considered garden weeds by many gardeners. Most green thumbs would plant these flowers in a potted plant. Many other parts of the plant such as the dandelion root, dandelion seeds, and dandelion leaf have uses.
The Taraxacum plant also has a few industrial, culinary, and medicinal purposes. In fact, an entire plant when processed can produce vibrant magenta dyes. Perfect for coloring cloth and paper.
Dandelion tea and dandelion wine made from the yellow seed heads have good health benefits to it for overall well being. Cherokee mountain people often consumed the leaves in fresh salads and other food. Although it had a bitter taste, the leaves were a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, and D.
It also had adequate amounts of minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Many say that the roots when infused tasted similar to that of coffee. These were commonly used as a flavor additive to beer, wine, butter, and jellies.
Early Persians were the first to use the plant as herbal medicine. The dandelion roots and leaves have laxative and diuretic properties that can help stimulate the digestive system. Similarly, tea made from the petals was once used as a tonic for the quick recovery of women after childbirth.
Native American tribes also used the flower for its medicinal and nutritional benefits. Tribal Indians used the flowers as a remedy for heart trouble. Medieval peasants also believed it was a remedy for blood poisoning.
A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.
~ image source: depositphotos/mitzo_bs