How Dandelions Went From Useful Plants to Pesky Weeds

In his distinctively straightforward manner, Lance Geiger of The History Guy reflects on the long history of the dandelion. He notes how it was once known as a tasty edible and an effective, multi-faceted medicinal plant before it was ever considered a pesky weed.

The history of dandelions is deeply intertwined with humans like so many other animals and plants they provided food and medicine for generations of ancient humans and spread into specifically human created biomes today. …It is a supreme irony that we now wage war against the plant that we once brought with us as a staple food and as a reminder of home. 

He also explains how the dandelion went from useful to unwanted.

The things that made dandelions desirable soon became problems. Dandelions spread widely and easily especially disturbed or shallow rooted spaces such as lawns …The dandelion can grow up to 15 feet deep and in ideal conditions. Other plants and medications made that mild dandelion mostly obsolete and now it remains mostly in the places that people just don’t want it.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.