The dandelion is an example of how one man's weed is another man's salad.
Known technically as taraxacum officinale, dandelions are classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as weeds, the generic term for wild plants that grow in unwanted places. Dandelions are unwelcome because they are a little too good at spreading their seeds, ultimately pervading lawns and garden beds, said Annette Ipsan, horticulturist and educator with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension's Washington County office.
But perhaps the dandelion gets a bad rap.
Before they were deemed weeds, dandelions were a prime source of spring bitter greens and sought for their medicinal properties, said Cynthia Kennedy, an herbalist at Boonsboro Wellness Center.
Just break down its scientific name, Kennedy said. In Greek, "taraxos" means disorder; "akos" means remedy.
"You think of about how resilient they are, how often it keeps popping up in suburban lawns," Kennedy said. "Native Americans would have considered that to be a good thing."