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in praise of the dandelion  RSS feed

 
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Synergy wrote:I seeded every mole hill...


How did mole planting worked for you? Did moles tried to repair their hills? I will try to sow veggies in mole hill in spring at friends property where there is a lot of this stuff in spring, but i heard about repairing.
 
                                      
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Plankl wrote:
How did mole planting worked for you? Did moles tried to repair their hills? I will try to sow veggies in mole hill in spring at friends property where there is a lot of this stuff in spring, but i heard about repairing.



I discovered a huge multi-stemmed pokeberry plant growing out of a gopher hole in a steep loose dirt embankment.
It was firmly embedded in the hole; roots probably going well into the tunnel.
 
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I'm thinking dandelion or dandelion's close relative chicory would make fantastic perennial cover crops and should be sown in a field that will be a future orchard or farm. Sowing would probably be as easy as blowing some puffballs where you want it to be. Maybe a dandelion/ legume cover crop mix would be good; anyone else think so?
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Good idea. I have full of dandelion here. In May everything is yellow. And it's a typical meadow setting. There are also lots of clovers and other legumes growing. And many other flowering annuals and perennials. It's really easy to work with habitat like that. So yea, go and plant some meadows if you have a chance. And add many seeds of dandelion, it will grow very good in all that diversity.
 
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I made dandelion wine, I'll tell you in a year or so if it was good. (Unfortunately I didn't really follow a single recipe)
 
                                      
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mrchuck wrote:
I'm thinking dandelion or dandelion's close relative chicory would make fantastic perennial cover crops and should be sown in a field that will be a future orchard or farm. Sowing would probably be as easy as blowing some puffballs where you want it to be. Maybe a dandelion/ legume cover crop mix would be good; anyone else think so?



Dandelion + white or Ladino clover + rattlesnake and broadleaf plantain, ground ivy, a little grass (crabgrass, mowed),
foxtail millet (mowed), a little spearmint or peppermint..might make a good combination. In a fertile pasture these would do well;
could mix in herbs and wildflowers. 
 
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Here is skeeter selling his dandelions for $900




 
Mother Tree
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Can I just confirm something.  When we were in the UK, dandelions were yellow flowered plants.  When we moved to Portugal, we bought some dandelion seeds and they grew into a blue flowered plant, that we would have called chicory. 

What colour flower is on the plant everyone else is talking about?
 
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Yellow!  Always yellow!
 
Burra Maluca
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Thankyou!  Just thought I ought to check.  It wouldn't be the first time I've been on a completely different page to everyone else and hadn't even noticed. 
 
                              
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Dandelions are definitely yellow flower, green toothy leaves, big taproot.
The long green stick and blue flower plant is chicory.(or as my mom calls it "chick weed")
 
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burra malluca, dandylions are called dente de lion, in Spanish, "piss en lit" in french so i suppose they might induce you to wet your bed.  i suppose they might have a similar name to the spanish one in portugues.
    Chicory, the type that grows in my garden has blue flowers that are out in the morning and over by miday in hot weather.
  The chicory i have with blue flowers does not seem to have the same sort of seed a dandylion has. I don't know how the wild chicory compares with the plant sold as a vegetable called chicory. agri rose macaskie.
 
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In another forum I was asked for proof of the dandelion feeding the raspberry while it is alive.  The dandelion dying and feeding surrounding plants was easy to understand, but not any sharing while alive.  So I attempted to help.  I know this isn't a really good response, but I think it could be helpful to some people.


-------



While it is true that the raspberry will gain from a dead dandelion, the raspberry will also gain from a living dandelion.

And it isn't that just one plant does this, my impression is that nearly all plants do this. 

I think that this is an important issue, and I don't have any of this stuff bookmarked or anything like that.  So the best I can offer at this point is to keep my eye out, or to possibly interview some people who are either writing this stuff or are aware of the specific documents. 

I guess I am so far beyond this issue that I don't even think about it anymore.  This video was made for the general public - so it was already really simplified.  And this is something where I think the evidence is right in front of everybody, so it seems obvious. To me.  Of course, it is a topic that is big enough that covering it in a post would be difficult.

I can't remember if stamets book (mycelium running) covers this. 

Here are facts:

There are thousands (millions?) of people that are convinced that this is true.  This does not prove it to be true, but it does lend to this not being something too crazy.

There is no proof that it is not true.

There is ample proof of allelopathy - would you agree?  Therefore, there are many channels where a plant can exude something that will harm other plants.  From this, one could speculate that a plant could exude something that is of benefit to other plants.

Each plant has it's own ways to exude stuff while living.  Each living plant exudes different stuff.  Water is a good example.  Evapo-transpiration through the leaves is a good example.  Water is not allelopathic.  And is this something you need proof of?  Probably not. 

Will the water be pure?  I think you would agree that it would be not pure.  If the plant had a tap root, it is plausible that it brought up hard water - loaded with minerals.  And these minerals could accumulate under the leaf and sluff off.  Would you agree with this one possibility? 

If so, then we have laid the ground work for this whole scenario to be reasonably possible. 

-----

My understanding is that the dandelion is particularly good at gathering nutrients that are of value to other plants and exuding stuff out of its roots.  With the deep tap root, it is able to get the water and nutrients it needs, and along with that it gets excess levels of stuff it does not need.  So much that it becomes toxic - so it needs to get rid of it.  It tends to exude this out of its roots where it becomes available to other plants, mycelium, etc.

In the absence of mature mycelium of the right type (such as in a tilled soil, or lifeless dirt) then the dandelion ends up sorta sitting in a soup of its own waste and nearby plants have difficulty finding the nutrients. 

Further, supposing we are making a dandion crop - rows and rows of a dandelion monoculture:  all of the dandelions are exuding the same stuff and the other dandelions don't want it either.

Now, let us introduce polyculture:  suppose there are 20 different species nearby including raspberries.  Raspberries would use some of that stuff - and then the raspberries would exude out some of the stuff they don't need.  And some of the stuff that the raspberries exude out could turn out to be stuff that dandelion wants. 

Now we add in a good mycelium and rich soil and the exchange is increased by an approximate order of magnitude.

Now mix in a few legumes. 

In permaculture, we favor the black locust over the honey locust because while they are living, the black locust exudes nitrogen usable for other plants and the honey locust keeps all its nitrogen for itself.

When creating plant guilds in permaculture, we select plants that are great at sharing and we avoid plants that are allelopathic. 

While this is not proof, perhaps it offers a glimpse of what is going on in my head.  Perhaps you are willing to admit that it is plausible and it gives you enough fuel to spend some time with google to find the proof you seek.

 
rose macaskie
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  yeah, paul stamets deals with the subject, not in reference to the dandylion but to plants. Plants excude sugars to fed the mycorrhizal fungi that live on their roots because the mycorrhizal fungi give plants water and minerals so the plants give them sugars, carbohydrates, they are better than plants at absorbign water and mineral from the soil and have longer haifa than plants have roots though very fine. 
      Considering the recent things written here on how good sugar is for the soil maybe they just produce sugars to help the soil microbes too in exchange they get a better soil maybe they put sugar in fruits for the soil, not for us. 

      paul stamets describes the experiment of a woman that showed how the mycelium of fungi take sugars to feed a tree that the scientist had coverd so it could not photosynthasize and was hungry. THey keep trees alive that later wil be usefull to them. He thinks they keep young trees alive in forests till they grow big enough to reach sunlight.

    Also plants die back and then thicken out again. They die back in the cold or drought this includes losing all their leaves and grow new bits when things get better, so they are leaving vegetable matter in the soil and dead leaves on the ground before they die. Dying back is a major way of living though droughts for lots of plants, even right down, all roots and aerial parts to a ground level, tiny bud or two hidden in and protected by the dead leaves of grasses.

      Did not someone say that dandylions were accelerators, that means they produce so much of the hormon that makes the roots grow that they get other plants roots growing more too. the growing hormones are cytokinins and auxins. i need to research this more understand the details better but anyone can find it looking up accelerators in google.

      Also if a tree is being eaten by a bug or animal they put bitterness into their leaves and they pass the message on and nearbye trees leaves, though not yet attacked, go bitter. So they pass on chemical messages, homones and such, That is why elm leaves are normally not bitter  but somtimes bitter. They pass on messages  as they do in a horror film on the topic.. rose macaskie
 
rose macaskie
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  Another reason for having plants in the paths between you plants is that the mycorrhizae of beneficial mushrooms that surrond or even penetrate plant roots and talking of plants doing things that are beneficial for the earth though they do it because it helps themselves, plants fit out cells to receive the hypha of arbuscular micorhyzae. arbuscular because they branch out in the special cells not because they grow on arboles.
      The hypha of the fungi that accompanies plants prduces a sheath to its hypha that when the hypha dies down falls into the soil and sticks particles of earth together in crumbs that is both good for clay soils, it stops the clay from being such a homogenouse and impenetrable mass and for sandy soil sticking sand particles together. It improves soil so the more plants you have to host fungi that produce glomalin the better. 
  Also a lot of carbon gets fixed in glomalin. We want carbon fixed instead of floating around in the atmosphere as a green house gass. Glomalin fixes more carbon than humic acids do but only for a maximum of forty odd years.  It is found in all soils as it is found on all crops except things like cabbage and mustard.
  The fruiting bodies of mycorrhizal fungi produce some of the best eating mushrooms, boletus, chanterelles, the St George mushroom for example. agri rose macaksie.
 
rose macaskie
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burra maluca , I went to a shop I dont go to often and they had a packet of chicory plant seed that some writting at the bottom of  the packet were seeds of diente de lione, so there is some reason to feel confused here. Every one here has always always told me that the dandylions were dienty de liones and as far as i know chicory has blue flowers. This is just getting more complicated. agri rose macaskie.
 
                                      
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crows daughter wrote:
Hi,
Right now the dandelion leaves are very thick and fully of bitter richness.
It is a very good time to pick these leaves, to make tincture, vinegar and dry them. 
The leaves are also good for our livers and lymphatic system.

Here is a link to my blog where I tell the story of how to make dandelion root vinegar, which also includes photos.  http://crowsdaughtersherbs.blogspot.com/2008/01/dandelion-has-been-potent-ally-of-mine.html

Peace, Julie

Thanks for that Julie..
Morgananne in Australia.
 
Burra Maluca
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rose macaskie wrote:
burra maluca , I went to a shop I dont go to often and they had a packet of chicory plant seed that some writting at the bottom of  the packet were seeds of diente de lione, so there is some reason to feel confused here. Every one here has always always told me that the dandylions were dienty de liones and as far as i know chicory has blue flowers. This is just getting more complicated. agri rose macaskie.



Apparently it's been chosen as the name of a variety of chicory, though goodness knows why they chose such a confusing name.    At least I'm in good company if you've been confused by it all too. 

 
Aljaz Plankl
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paul wheaton wrote:I think that this is an important issue, and I don't have any of this stuff bookmarked or anything like that.  So the best I can offer at this point is to keep my eye out, or to possibly interview some people who are either writing this stuff or are aware of the specific documents.



Weeds, Guardians of the Soil. I'm sure this will help them go into the subject, if they want. It's one of the best reads ever.
 
rose macaskie
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Plank the link, "Weeds, Guardians of the soil", that you give is great. i have not read much of it yet but i am totally held by the interesting information it gives on weeds and it reads like a nice novel too. agri rose macaskie.
 
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We have been harvesting and selling what we call dandy greens in bunches at our farmers market and have had a decent number of folks pick them up.  We also are selling roasted roots for the experimental types.  If anyone lives in Vermont you should check out Kismet in Montpelier which makes the best Dandelion Latte I have ever tried.
 
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There is a folklore legend about dandelion that says it cures everything!  Just remember to eat the leaves before it blooms, as it becomes bitter at that time.  They are loaded with all kinds of great minerals, and beta carotene.  The root is a liver decongestant and helps break up some types of gravel in the bladder.  I use the blossoms in quiche or salads or on cake icing, as well as the fritters. 
 
rose macaskie
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        Someone on these forums said that you have to give plants what they need i havebeen free with bags of horse manure this year and dandy lions seem to come up where i have been free with the horse manure.
      I am glad to get back to this thread i hav ebeen reading more of planks link "weeds guardians of the soil" by joseph A Cocannouer, and learning such a lot it is so good. agri rose macaskie.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
In another forum I was asked for proof of the dandelion feeding the raspberry while it is alive.   The dandelion dying and feeding surrounding plants was easy to understand, but not any sharing while alive. 



This is an expression of the widespread biological phenomenon of altruism.

Natural selection and evolution, since they were first propounded, have been imbued with cultural assumptions characteristic of laissez-faire attitudes of early industrial society. Think of "The Origin of Species" as written by Charles Dickens or perhaps Gordon Gecko.

Or reflect on attitudes implicit in Hobbes' description of nature as "nasty, brutish and short, or the sentiment "It's every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost."

It turns out that the view of "survival of the fittest" as the survival of the sociopathic individual organism mercilessly eliminating competition is more a cultural projection on nature than a clear-eyed view of nature itself.  Mother Nature, who seems to dote on cooperative strategies, has incorporated the phenomenon of altruism into many of her designs.

Under the laissez-faire Gordon Gecko greed-is-good evolutionary model, dandelions and other plants would hoard all of their carbohydrate to fuel maximum growth and early, robust reproduction. But they don't. Dandelions and many other plants instead release up to 10 percent of their carbohydrates into the soil, feeding nearby microorganisms which in turn benefit other plants in the vicinity. Horrors! Mother Nature has gone red on us, and rejected Ayn Rand in favor of shameless collectivism!

This phenomenon tends to mess with the heads of biologists and others who accept as a first principle that selfishness and individualism are the premiere survival strategies and the keystone of evolution. It also tends to mess with those who view humans as separate and "above" nature and who believe that a noble trait like altruism must be unique to humans.

 
rose macaskie
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lasVegasLee, i am glad some is commenting on the human tendency to decide other beings are so much worse than humans, it has seemed to me for sometime passed that such an idea must be self delusional if only because it is so obviously ego satifying to think we are the best, but also because animals don't seem to be totally instinctive or self centred. agri rose macaskie.
 
                  
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When is the best time of year to harvest the dandelion roots for tea? My guess would be the fall, after the plant has spent the season growing and is about to go dormant. Also, does anyone have any tips for drying the roots? I don't have a food dehydrator,
thanks!
 
rose macaskie
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      I would like to know about drying the roots too. There was a solar drier on you tube made out of an old fridge or some such I remember. so try soem words like solar drier and maybe you will find it.

  Planks link to "Weeds Guardians of the Soil" by Joseph Cocannouer, talks of how deep rooted weeds  forge away through the soil below the topsoil, there are often a lot of nutrients in the lower levels of the soil as the rain  water washes the nutrients down into the soiil. The weeds forge a path that the roots of less  hardy plants can follow. The crops roots then grow down into  the deeper level of the soil in the portective atmosphere of the weeds roots.
         He saw a woman in  achinese village collecting weeds on a mountain top to replant in her garden as mother plants to her vegetable plants.
         As a teenager, a farmer he sometimes worked for showed him that his corn grew better were the purslain had not been weeded out, this started him on a life long search to understand and collect more information on this phenomenon.
  The other good that comes of weed roots diving deep into the soil is they remain there when they die, filling deeper layers of soil with vegetable matter and so turning new areas of barren  new areas of soil at different levels.
      I have a bit on roots that i  think proves that tree roots dig holes through the rock and make soil in these holes. I thought of putting the photos of the tree roots doing this here as a follow on to Planks link but as it is a theme that has to do with all roots not just dandylion roots i am going to open a roots thread to talk about it in. agri rose macaskie.
 
pollinator
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Lydia S. wrote:
When is the best time of year to harvest the dandelion roots for tea? My guess would be the fall, after the plant has spent the season growing and is about to go dormant. Also, does anyone have any tips for drying the roots? I don't have a food dehydrator,
thanks!



On a sheet in the oven at 200F for an hour or so works too. In the fall the plant tends to store the good stuff in the root.
 
rose macaskie
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I have been reading LasVegaslee's bit again about the alturism the sharing attitudes that seem to exist in nature where we only see competetiveness.
 
One thing i have to quarrel about, faced by people who insist that our problem is peoples egoism, is that many people seem incapable of seeing altruism outside themselves or their group so to insist on our egoism is to increase a tendency to be despreciative that is already big among humans. A human lack of good observation as observation needs a lot of discipline and you cant be lazy about it it takes a long time being with others if you are to observe them correctly and also the belief in thier powers or you keep the conversation down to cronically stupid levels means we already have a big tendency to the ego satifactory and desrtuctive observation that others selfish.  

LasVegasLee has given me some data i wanted to know about, i wondered were this great culture of, "it is survival of the fittest rather than the culture tha seemed to be taking over when i embarked on adult life which was make love not war, has sprung from, the whole of society seems to be permeated with this idea, and i was not aware of its entrance into our culture, things are so permeated with it that bullies excuse themselves for doing for you, by saying that they are only helping you to evolve.

       The other thing i quarrel about tha tis brought about by the idea that we are all egotistical,  is that to say so puts up a smoke screen that blinds people to conducts that are much more agressive than simply egoism, conducts that are of this sort, "I will do what i see fit or want and if someone gets in my way i will give him a lesson or two that it will be hard to forget" he shall not stand up ever again.
     Things like class dont simply depend on the best and the most competent  shining through, as some seem to pretend successfully, they depend on holding down the underdog, ridiculising their abilities and potential instead of bosltering up their abilities. Keeping them too busy or worried about their future to learn and making sure you dont let any information slip that would help them on everb during their life. The internet is going to change that last unless some one controls it.  Also keeping them too poor to move if yoiu do9nt actually distort information and lie to keep them down.
 i know all about this  in adult life and after a university education men have simply put off or ¡not had time for any more serioiuse conversation with me and then turned round and called me frivolouse. and stupid. They did their level best to knock me out of the way as a thinking person. That is males of my family and friends, so not simply the blows of society at large but being done for by those i loved and tried for, a kick in the soalr plexus.
    We can grow enough food we can make houses, there is no reason why anyone should be poor, at least in the better organised part of the world. Money makes us look at things in a strange light, we wonder if there is enough money to build house rather than enough stone and manual work. We should make money work round what we need rather than blinding us.

      Letting things come out in such a way that there are lots of poor  is  a way of assuring a depressed àrt pf society that will do heavy labour or of keeping people to depressed to get up to mischief. Talking as if the fault can be laid at the door of egotism when it should be laid at the door of pure and brutal manipulation, stops people going for the throat of the manipulative and i think they should go for the throat, figurativly speaking, of  the extrelmly agressive and  manipualtive  instead of worrying about the lazy and a bit selfish. Everyone went for the throat of Paris Hilton instead of for the financiers who broke the country. Paris Hiltons moment was a bit before the crash so that is not a good comparison. Of course it is more frightening to go for the throat of the real alligators with a lot of teeth. agri rose macaskie.
 
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This is what a typical lawn in the city looks like right now. People are not thrilled but I love it so much. There was a recent ban on chemicals so hopefully people observe it and don't start dousing their yards with poisons.
 
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WOW!  As kids, if my sister and I found that many puff balls, we would have been in 7th Heaven!
I hope your city enforces the chemical ban.  Have they removed all stock from the stores?
 
Lee Einer
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rose macaskie wrote:
         As a teenager, a farmer he sometimes worked for showed him that his corn grew better were the purslain had not been weeded out, this started him on a life long search to understand and collect more information on this phenomenon.



In some areas, the purslane would be worth more than the corn.

We call it "verdolaga" and it is doted upon in New Mexico. It is often stewed with meat and red chile here, although I think it is best just lightly steamed in butter and served as a vegetable course.
 
rose macaskie
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purslane is called verdolaga here too. Lot of Spanish influence in the southern states it seems. I want some purslane seed. ther is a site called "rare plants" i think, that has a lot of the seed i want.
  I suppose if a town or county is to stop the use of herbicides etc., they have to  test th esoil a lot and fine people a lot. agri rose macaskie.
 
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Some pesticides have been banned along with their sale, people can use up what they already own though and you know some of them ran out and bought out the store when they heard the ban was coming. Dummies. Sigh.

My kids love the puffs, they come home with hair full of little dandelion fairies all the time, lol.

And purslane is best RAW! It's mush when it's cooked, I love it fresh. It's probably one of my fave wild ones, lambsquarter too. Dang, I want to go outside and pick some greens now...
 
paul wheaton
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That video is so cool!
 
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look at all those aphids, and yea great video.
 
rose macaskie
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love the way the petals wave up when the flower shuts again it is very interesting whatching this video .
      I have lots of photos of chicory i have taken for this thread as it seems there is some confusion sometimes about dandylions and chicory. I have to get on to my lap top if i wat to hang them here they are on my lap top.
i have the photos so here goes.
chicory has little blue flowers tha open in th emorning and closde at miday next day another flower flowers so in the afternoon you only have some untidy looking stems. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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      Here is a close up of a chicory flower before it dies and of another of a flower with a bee in it with a bee in it. Thinking of plants that feed insects is part of organic and permaculture goals. this plant is in a way like the dandy lion in the uses given to it danylion roots are also used for tea the roots of this plant are used as a coffe substitute dandy lion roots are very good for you they purify the blood help the liver if i remember right i dont know what use chiory roots have.
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