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The Western Star
All the spring rain has done wonders for the grass! I woke up Monday morning, looked out the window and saw nothing but green.
After all this rain, you’d think that emerald blanket would be dotted with splashes of sunshiny yellow… Where are the dandelions?
Here are a few interesting facts about the often-maligned spring plant:
- Dandelions close their flowers against dew at night; they open when things begin to dry out. When the humidity is high, they stay closed.
- As tough as they are, dandelions also tend to remain closed when the temperature is below 10 or 11 C which, of course, has been the case almost every morning!
- Like many of us, dandelions react to the weather; in fact, Grandma used to refer to the dandelion as a “weather barometer.”
Here’s why. When the weather is fair, the flower extends to full bloom, but when the humidity is high, it shuts like an umbrella. Typically, the humidity is high when there’s rain in the forecast! If there are showers in the forecast, the dandelions will stay closed until the threat of rain has passed. They do this to preserve the pollen and keep the nectar from being diluted. Nectar and pollen from dandelions are used by honey bees for valuable energy and feeding their spring young.
I remember so clearly the day I figured out that the name “dandelion” is French for “lion’s tooth” – because the plant’s leaves have jagged tooth-like edges. That day, I ran around the schoolyard sharing my newfound knowledge with everyone.
One last note about dandelions. Grandma believed that if a bride tucked a dandelion in her wedding bouquet, it would bring good luck to the newly married couple.
It looks like the first weekend of June is going to be full of promise and pretty yellow posies… until the next rain system rolls in… Grandma Says!
- Have a question about the weather? Email Weathermail@weatherbyday.ca.
- Read more Grandma Says columns.
Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.