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The Dandelion Picker

Dandelion Day

Apr 5

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Blessings on thy sunny face,
In my heart thou hast a place,
Humble Dandelion!"

~ To a Dandelion, Helen M. Johnson

Truth be told, many of us (well, at least this page editor) still indulge in the childhood pastime of plucking a dandelion and making a wish by gently blowing away the seeds into the wind, a practice commonly referred to as "dandelion clocks" or making "dandelion wishes." This common yet captivating plant, the cheerfull bane of many a garden lawn, derives its name from the French 'dent-de-lion,' a reference to the jagged edges of its leaves, reminiscent of a lion's tooth. Revered not just for its myriad uses in traditional medicinal remedies, the dandelion also figures prominently in divination folklore. According to legend, the number of breaths it takes to blow away all the seeds was said to predict the years until a young maiden's marriage! Today, the dandelion still inspires! Scientists have unlocked methods to extract high-quality latex from the plant's tissue, presenting an eco-friendly alternative to traditional rubber. This joyous reel by Ian Barbour and tune might remind one traversing a spring field to find all the dandelions and reeling away like the seeds on puff of breath! 💚 💛 🌼 💛 💚

The Dandelion Picker

April 5th is Dandelion Day!

Dandelions, though considered a nuisance weed by some, have been used as a food, drink, and medicinal remedy throughout history.

For such a common weed belonging to the sunflower family, dandelion is easily misidentified.  Many look-alike plants have similar leaves, but dandelion leaves are hairless.  They generally have toothed edges that gave the plant its French name, “dent de lion.”   Leaves and hollow flower stems grow directly from the rootstock.  There is only one flower per stem, verses other branching look-alike plants.  Root, leaves and stem all exude a milky white sap.  The fruits form “wish balls” or "dandelion clocks."  Individual seeds are carried away by parachute like hairs with the slightest breeze or breath.  They have been known to travel on the wind as much as five miles! 

Dandelion is one of the oldest documented medicinal herbs.  It was intentionally imported to the Americas on the Mayflower ship (around 1620) as a food crop and cure-all medicine.  It was quickly incorporated into American Indian medicine.

The dandelion is a rarity in that humans can eat all parts of the plants. The young leaves are boiled like spinach or eaten raw in salads.  The roots may are peeled and sliced for salads or eaten roasted or fried. The yellow blossoms can be eaten outright, deep fried or mixed into pancakes, or made into wine.  The raw blossoms are slightly bitter and can turn the saliva a bright yellow for several minutes.  Boy Scouts, as part of foraging skills, occasionally feast on the ripe seeds or leaves.  

See below for a video of the Tay Dancers performing this dance in 2018.

And for a Sweet & Savoury Dandelion Rosemary Shortbread recipe, click The Dandelion Clock by William John Hennessy (1839-1917).

The Dandelion Picker

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Dandelion Picker

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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