Life History and Interactions



     Dandelions were first used for medicine in Arabia during the tenth and eleventh century.  They were then brought over to North America by the English to plant in gardens as a source of food.  With all of the seeds that dandelions rapidly produce and their ability to live year round, they soon were growing everywhere.  The wind dispersion and insect pollination allowed the seeds to spread throughout all of North America.

     In the dandelion’s journey to America, it was deposited in other countries along the way.  The Chinese and the Native Americans used them for medical practices.  Dandelions have been thought to help treat liver problems, kidney diseases, heartburn, digestive disorders, appendicitis and more.  Europe used dandelions as natural remedies for diabetes, diarrhea, and fevers.

     Today dandelions are still used in certain medical aspects, which are included below in the interactions.

are used as a diuretic to stimulate the excretion of urine.



     Dandelions have had interactions with humans since their creation on earth.  Even though they surround us year after year, we tend to look past the role they play in our lives. 


¨ For years people have used dandelions in flavoring food such as  wine, tea, salads, sandwiches, and soups.  Some find it very tasty while others wouldn’t recommend it, but they are a good source of vitamins A, C, and D.


¨ Dandelion roots are used as natural supplements to aid in digestion, appetite stimulation, liver detoxification, and gallbladder functions.


¨ One interaction very common to us all is the weeding process that takes place when trying to get rid of dandelions.  Lots of money is paid to lawn companies and lots of time is spent in properly weeding out a dandelion.  Since the root of a dandelion acts as nutrient storage site (structure), the only way to assure the dandelion doesn’t grow back is by extracting the entire root.  Many people have lawns invaded by dandelions and hire professionals to take care of it for them.


¨ Dandelions also interact with other flowers and insects.  Their rosette inhibits other flowers from forming around them (structure).  Insects help pollinate the dandelions (reproduction).