Water & Nature – The Versatile Dandelion

Water & Nature – The Versatile Dandelion
Dandelions, long immortalised in Dance, the Media Arts and Music are, in fact, weeds.

If you don’t believe dandelions have been used in popular music over the last few decades, boy oh boy, are you in for a surprise! Just to get the dandelion swaying, here’s a fine example:

Prince or pauper, beggar man or thing

Play the game with ev’ry flower you bring

Dandelion don’t tell no lies

Dandelion will make you wise

Tell me ~ The Rolling Stones

My dandelion obsession has been with me since I was a child –  there’s something just so fey about their lighter than air ghostly seeds and the way they’re distributed + it’s awfully pretty too.

One thing I never imagined though was that dandelions would be used to make rubber for tyres. Yup, can you Adam and Eve it? Tyres!

According to an article at Green Builder Media: “Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport. The reaction is understandable, given most people regard the yellow flowers as pesky intruders in their gardens rather than a promising source of rubber for tyres …

The dandelion mission is being backed by some big tyre manufacturers, “such as industry leader Bridgestone Corp and No.4 player Continental AG.”

The report adds: “A U.S. research team found the dandelions delivered per-hectare rubber yields on a par with the best rubber-tree plantations in tropical Asia.”

A report in Rubber News last year says that what is old is new again. Apparently dandelions were grown for rubber use during World War II and grown purposefully throughout 42 U.S. states for the rubber industry. After World War II, production ended.

The cultivar considered most promising is the Russian varietal, though breeding is ongoing to make even more productive varietals.”

Colour me impressed! For now, though, I think I’ll be sticking to another rather remarkable by product of the plant that’s been brewed since time immemorial – Dandelion Wine. More my speed and to my taste methinks. *hic*

I wouldn’t, however, recommend that you use the bottled water that your office supplies, drawn from  one of three natural sources throughout the U.K when you try out the above recipe.  Trust me – I tried filching a few bottles and it didn’t go down well at all!

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