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The dandelion, TARAXACUM officinale, is one of the most common plants in the world. Its Latin name, Taraxacum, derives from the Persian word for “bitter herb.” Officinale implies that the plant has some beneficial or pharmaceutical value. The dandelion is probably better known by its many common names, including Blowball, Puff-Ball, Clock Flower, Cankerwort, Lion's Tooth, Irish Daisy, Monk's Head, Priest's Crown, Swine Snout, Wild Endive, and Sin in the Grass. The Spanish refer to it as diente de leon; the French as pis-en-lit; the Chinese as pu gong ying, or “earth nail,” because of its deep taproot; and Native Americans as Chicoria.

Considered an “invasive weed” by many, the ubiquitous dandelion can be found in virtually every corner of the earth, due to its ability ...

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