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Taraxacum – Wikipedia

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**Botanical and Agricultural Aspects:**
Genus Taraxacum consists of tap-rooted, perennial, herbaceous plants.
– Reproduction often occurs through apomixis, leading to local populations and endemism.
– Taxonomically complex genus with about 60 sections and 2800 microspecies recognized.
– Botanists studying Taraxacum are known as taraxacologists.
– Dandelions evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia.
– Dandelions have been used for food and medicine by ancient civilizations.
– Family: Asteraceae.
– Found in Northern US and Canada.
– Livestock management impacts habitat quality.
– Influence on farmland bird habitat.
Nectar secretion in dandelion.

**Culinary and Medicinal Uses:**
– Raw dandelion greens are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
– Dandelion greens are mostly water, with carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
– Dandelion flowers contain polyphenols like flavonoids and terpenoids.
– Dandelion roots are a source of prebiotic fiber inulin.
– Dandelion has been used in traditional medicine in Europe, North America, and China.
– Potential benefits for type 2 diabetes.
– Edible weeds safe for consumption.
– Recipes like sautéed Dandelion Greens.
– Dandelion petals are used in making dandelion wine.
– Roasted dandelion roots are a coffee alternative.

**Properties and Uses:**
– The entire dandelion plant is edible and nutritious.
– Dandelions are consumed globally and used in various cuisines.
– Dandelion flowers can be dried and used as a yellow dye.
– Dandelion pollen can cause allergic reactions when eaten.
– Dandelions benefit wildlife as a food source.
– Used by certain species of Lepidoptera as food plants.
– Dandelions can be invasive and cause economic damage.
– Dandelions are cultivated for various purposes from small gardens to farms.
– Inspiration for engineering applications.
– Source of natural rubber.

**Etymology and Cultural References:**
– The name Taraxacum originates from medieval Arabic writings on pharmacy.
– Folk names like piss-a-bed and pisacan.
– Dandelion folklore and cultural references.
– Traditions like wishing on dandelions.
– Songs and events related to dandelions.
– Etymology of the word “Dandelion.”
– Various dictionaries and publications provide insights into dandelions.

**Research and Advancements:**
– Studies on chloroplast genomes of apomictic Taraxacum species.
– Investigations on the flow dynamics of dandelion pappus.
– Genetic diversity and cross-amplification of rubber dandelion genomic microsatellite loci.
– Ongoing research on dandelion evolution and diversity.
– Collaborations leading to advancements in utilizing dandelions.
– Advancements in rubber production from dandelions.
– Insights from dandelion seeds for engineering applications.

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