I believe that most people around the world have seen this little cute plant, the dandelion.
This well-known plant is called Dandelion, Tanpopo (タンポポ) in Japanese, and Taraxacum for scientific name. It originates from Eurasia and North America which is unbelievable since many Japanese medias use it as one of noteworthy symbol and it does not originate in Japan. Furthermore, there are approximately 100 species of dandelion, and all are beneficial. Thus, I cannot distinguish what species they are. Normally, it is a common meadow herb of sunflower. It has an ability to propagate easily since it can be easily transferred, it exists around the world.
The name “Dandelion” comes from the French “dent de lion” which means lion’s tooth referring the serrated leaves. A dandelion flower is composed of numerous small yellow florets. On the other hand, the picture above shows dandelion seeds which can be propagated by transferring away by the wind about 8 kilometers. When it reaches the ground, the seed will grow as another dandelion flower which can be seen as an unwanted plant.
Every part of dandelion is beneficial for human and animals such as insects or birds consume seed as a food. For human, the root of dandelion can be used in the process of producing drinks such as coffee, tea, root beer and wine. Since dandelion is high in minerals, nutrients, and vitamins, the dandelion has been used in a production of medicine which is widely well known in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years. The dandelion is very useful for human body. For example, strengthens bones, cures liver disorders, promotes digestion, aids in weight loss and skin and reduces risk of some diseases etc.
In addition, there are many Japanese animations which use the dandelion as a symbol of happiness and hope. For example, “Dandelion! Goes to the sky”, one of the episode in “Doraemon”, raising the realization of how nature life feels when the main character, Nobita, is wearing eyeglasses. The dandelion flower is represented as a mother to take care of seeds until the last seed is blown for an adventure life. Meaning that when humans do not realize about nature’s emotion, they will not take any responsibility or awareness into consideration. Thus, this episode tries to raise awareness for humans to respect the nature.
- “Taraxacum.”Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- “Just Fun Facts.”Fun and interesting site. N.p., 01 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- “13 Surprising Benefits of Dandelion.”Organic Facts. N.p., 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.