Brave as a (dande)lion

A warm spring day at the end of April, I climb a hill to an open sand plain on a wasteland next to the highway. As I reach the top, the heat strikes me like a hammer.

Teasel overlooking the little desert

On the open sandy field, temperatures are through the roof, making it a burden for the couple of plants that try to survive there. And these hard circumstances trigger a big feedback, as the heat kills of the plants that normally do such a good job to keep the temperatures between reasonable boundaries.

Dandelion in burning sand

Where they cannot grow, the temperatures will not be buffered – especially not on a dry sandy soil, making germination of new plants almost impossible. This feedback can drastically slow down the recolonisation of an area like this.

The brave dandelion

It was hence a pleasant surprise when I saw this optimistic dandelion bravely flowering on the hottest spot of all. Another reminder of the impressive flexibility that this species can show, as they can survive – and win the competition – everywhere from the most stressful to the easiest environment.

We will definitely here more of these winners of ecology in the future!

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6 Responses to Brave as a (dande)lion

  1. vsperry says:

    Thanks for posting something positive about the dandelion. I just wrote a post about it and how it has been totally undermined by the “perfect lawn” businesses. I think it’s going to be a while before the massage that dandelions are bad changes a bit.

    • I love dandelions and their impressive powers (although I àm really worried about how these skills make them the perfect invasive species outside their natural range). But I’m also quiet sure they are strong enough to survive their negative image, as no effort will be big enough to get rid of them 😉

  2. I never knew dandelions were so important! (Maybe I should quit snacking on then)!🙀

    • I have to point out that, indeed, they are important, but not only in a good way :)! Their flexibility makes them ultimately suited to invade wherever they go in the world.
      In Europe and North-America, they belong in the vegetation, but in South-America, for example, they are happily taking the place of what should grow there!
      And next to that: I don’t think the dandelions care to much if you snack on them, they will be strong enough to survive your festive meals 😉

      • Dude! That’s fascinating! Here in Oregon, (USA) – They are everywhere – and one of the Creature’s favorite victims – (and one of my favorite snacks)! Glad to know they’ll be around fur future snacking!😺

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