Tanpopo (Dandelion)

What fills children with glee and gardeners with irritation but is a beloved symbol of Spring in Japan? Behold the humble dandelion たんぽぽ, regarded as an invasive weed in most countries of the world but loved for it’s cuteness in Japan, where they are not only enjoyed, but new species are cultivated for the pleasure of gardeners! In truth, dandelions get a bad rap just because they are common and hardy; they have actually been used by herbalists for centuries to cure common ailments. They are also helper plants for nearby plants, attracting pollinating insects and bringing nutrients from deep underground to the topsoil.

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