Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a yellow flag of mockery to turfgrass managers and homeowners because plants can replenish blooms as quickly as one day after mowing. It might surprise you that one of our most common turfgrass weeds was once a valuable plant. Dandelion has been documented throughout history as a delectable vegetable and medicinal plant. It is legend that Theseus ate a dandelion salad after killing the Minotaur. Puritans likely cultivated the plant as a food source during the period of colony settlement. In fact, every part of the dandelion plant is edible and has exceptional nutritional value. Though theories abound for the medicinal uses of dandelion, the only proven use is a mild diuretic. Dandelion’s former usefulness has given way in modern times to its undesirable weedy characteristics. The perennial weed reproduces mainly through seed but may reproduce vegetatively from broken pieces of taproot. Dandelion is found in many non-cultivated crops including turf, orchards, alfalfa, and nursery crops where it germinates or sprouts from early spring to late summer. For more information on dandelion and other weeds, go to Dr. Askew’s web site at www.turfweeds.net. For information on controlling this and other broadleaf weeds in the home lawn, refer to publication 456-017 Horticultural and Forest Crops from the VCE 2003 Pest Management Guides.