A so called 'weed' is very often what we might consider to be an inferior wildflower growing in the wrong place.

A prime example must be the dandelion, a plant that any tidy gardener would be very upset to find in his pristine manicured lawn.

The name dandelion is a corruption of the French ' dent -de-leon' or lion's tooth, alluding to the fact that the pointed lobes of the leaves resemble the teeth of a lion!

The thought occurs to me that whoever originally worked that out must either have had a very vivid imagination or a rather risky in depth knowledge of the big animal's set of canines!

For me, the plant is a most beautiful asset when growing in grassland with bright golden flower heads containing up to two hundred individual florets that open mainly in sunny weather and close up at night if cold.

Many years ago drinks and soup were made and the vitamin-rich leaves enhance salads. Even wine can be distilled from the flowers.

Seen at their best in early spring, they provide a welcome nectar source for butterflies and other insects emerging from hibernation (pictured) when few other plants are available.

And who hasn't  told the time when blowing dandelion clocks, sending the seeds wafting miles away on the breeze.

Dandelions are grossly under-valued 'weeds'.