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Dandelion Clock

Dandelion Clock
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, Raynox DCR 150 macro lens
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-31 12:56
Viewed: 5920
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I'm just trying something different, this was growing on my compost heap, I was supposed to be gardening but got bored and went in for my camera, thanks for looking.


The common name Dandelion is given to members of the genus Taraxacum, a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. In the Asteraceae (formerly Compositae) the "flowers" are morphologically a composite flower head consisting of many tiny flowers called florets. Dandelions are native to Europe and Asia and have been widely introduced elsewhere. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant.


A microscopic view of a pappus from a dandelion clock. The flower head is surrounded by bracts (sometimes mistakenly called sepals) in two series. The inner bracts are erect until the seeds mature, then flex down to allow the seeds to disperse; the outer bracts are always reflexed downward. Some species drop the "parachute" (called a pappus, modified sepals) from the achenes. Between the pappus and the achene, there is a stalk called a beak, which elongates as the fruit matures. The beak breaks off from the achene quite easily. After pollination, the dandelion flower dries out for about 1-2 days and then the seed-bearing parachutes expand and lift out of the dried flower head. The dried part of the flower drops off and the parachute ball opens into a full sphere. The parachute drops off when the seed strikes an obstacle. Often dandelions can be observed growing in a crevice near a wall, because the blowing fruits hit the wall and the feathery pappi drop off, sending the dandelion seeds to the base of the obstacle where they germinate. After the seed is released, the parachutes lose their feathered structure and take on a fuzzy, cotton-like appearance, often called "dandelion snow." While it was probably not developed evolutionarily, Dandelions seeds are often dispersed by young children, who often blow on or kick the clock.


The dandelion's taproot very difficult to uproot; the top of the plant breaks away, but the root stays in the ground and can sprout again. While the dandelion is considered a weed by most gardeners and lawn owners, the plant does have several culinary uses, and the specific name officinalis refers to its value as a medicinal herb. Dandelions are grown commercially on a small scale as a leaf vegetable. The leaves (called dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion salad is often accompanied with hard boiled eggs. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach.

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes. It has also been used in a saison ale called Pissenlit (literally "wet the bed" in French) made by Brasserie Fantôme in Belgium. Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam. Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a coffee substitute. Dandelion root is a registered drug in Canada, sold principally as a diuretic. A leaf decoction can be drunk to "purify the blood", for the treatment of anemia, jaundice, and also for nervousness. Drunk before meals, dandelion root coffee is claimed to stimulate digestive functions and function as a liver tonic. "Dandelion and Burdock" is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom with authentic recipes sold by health food shops. It is unclear whether cheaper supermarket versions actually contain extracts of either plant.

The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent, the milk is also applied to warts, helping get rid of them without damaging the surrounding skin.

Note from Wilipedia.com

nglen, boreocypriensis, Amadeo, eqshannon, PaulGana, ramthakur, uleko, hester, Royaldevon, SelenE, Argus, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-31 13:01]

Hi Hilary. You have used the light so well in this picture of the Dandelion seed head.With good detail and natural colours. with a nice POV. well done TFS good notes too.


Hello Hil, fantastic macro shot of a Dandelion with a great clarity. TFS.


You must have been working in my yard. It's a wonderful image and nicely composed.

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-05-31 14:40]

Hola Hil, una toma con buen detalle y una excelente información. Un saludo

Patterns excite me...is it 20 after 11 then? I was guessing by the empty space rather than the full which should be 5 minutes to 4...is that right?

great focus and detail, nice closeup. I learned a little bit from your notes wow, cool what they do with dandelions

Well seen and well composed image of a withering Dandelion, Hilary.
Your impulse to grab your camera and capture this 'Dandelion Clock' was justified.
There is something different about this state of the flower which you have conveyed quite effectively through this wonderful picture.
TFS and regards.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-01 5:47]

Hello Hilary,
Brilliant capture of this Dandelion seedhead. Very common subject but you've really managed to capture it from an interesting POV and the light and the dark background makes it stand out so nicely. Great to see only half the seeds left too! Well done and nicely composed too!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-06-01 11:48]

Hi Hilary

It is much nicer to wander around your garden with the camera rather than do the gardening. The light is lovely here and you have shown pin sharp details. Excellent DOF and POV




On the road now and just marking.



  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-03 9:21]

Hello Hil

A lovely close up of this dandelion.My kids love to blow the seeds around my garden ...much to my chagrin.I did it to my father when I was young,big bouquets of them.lol.
Wonderful pov and composition.
The lighting is used to good effect.
Lovely contrast and colour.


Hello Hil,

This is very detailed and sharp.
I like how well you have composed the flowerhead in the bottom l/h corner along with the green b/g. That leaves an interesting, vacant space top right.

I was always trained that the space you leave is as interesting as what you show. It works very well here!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

I've looked at this since the day you uploaded it, and was sure I commented.
Impressive darkness in behind to highlight the seeds.
Very well focused and detailed Hilary.
Be good

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-06-07 3:19]

Hi Hilary,
It's a very nice close-up with good lighting, colors and background. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-17 1:03]

Hello Hil,
This one is definitely worth a visit!
The composition, lighting and sharpness are all first class in this shot of a half-spent dandelion seed head. I like th contrasting dark BG too.
Some of the seeds may have ended up on your compost again to germinate next year, as they do on my compost heap!
TFS this artistic image,

Hi Hil,

A very popular subject with photographers and this is one of the better ones I've seen, with the dark background helping emphasise the seed head. Very well composed and exposed and very well thought out.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-02 0:00]

Hi Hil.
A bit OE in the center very cute picture of an old dandelion. I like creative idea, impressive POV, square cropping and exact framing. Lights, darks and colours are very good too. My best regards and kind wishes.

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