Why God Made Dandelions

Before we moved, one neighbor would look at our yard critically and glower if he spotted a dandelion. Me? I love the cheerful yellow flowers and would gladly have a yard full of them. But the Bible instructs to live peacefully, as much as possible, with all people—thus the countless hours digging up the poor dandies by the roots and discarding them.

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Why did God make dandelions? Critics claim that dandelion clumps on athletic fields and golf courses result in poor footing for humans. Critics say they reduce the aesthetic quality of turf grass. Fruit growers claim bees prefer dandelion blooms to fruit tree blossoms and that dandelions entice the bees away resulting in a loss of pollination. Defenders of dandelions make tea and entire meals out of dandelions and tout their health benefits.

Me? I have my own reflection on dandies and why God made them. They are hardy, prolific, cheerful, thrive in almost any climate condition, and are almost impossible to kill. They’re tough! They’re encouraging.

view from Hillfoot Street Dunoon

When we first moved to Dunoon, we found an impossibly steep hill that had to be conquered in order to walk our dog. So impossible did the hill look that I turned back and wasn’t going to attempt it—until I spotted a dandelion growing out of a rock wall. If that flower could conquer that ages-old rock wall…we could conquer the hill. And we did.

Successful people are like dandelions. Tough.


Bill Gates, the richest person in the world, failed in his first business. Albert Einstein survived a miserable childhood and never spoke until age four. Jim Carey was a homeless high school dropout. Stephen King’s first novel was rejected 30 times—but he never quit writing. Vincent Van Gough only sold one painting in his lifetime—but he kept painting and left behind 900 works of art.

Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark when she was 13. She was back on her surfboard one month later, and two years later she won first in the Explorer Woman’s Division of the NSSA National Championships. Oprah Winfrey was repeatedly molested as a child and gave birth at age 14 to a son who died shortly after. Her net worth today—$ 2.9 billion.

Tough. As tough and successful as dandlelions.

I like that! I like dandelions!

blog dandlions necessary pride & tenacity


Dare to be a…Dandelion?

William Wordsworth wrote:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils…

Why daffodils? Why not dandelions? They are both yellow. They are both cheerful. They both start with the letter D. So what’s wrong with dandelions…except, of course, that in this case – it wouldn’t rhyme.

Even though dandelions have medicinal uses and are harvested for food, they are listed as a noxious weed in many jurisdictions. My neighbors hate them and cast disparaging looks at our yard when the cheerful yellow blooms pop up and wave at them in a friendly manner.

Multiple internet sites offer advice on how to kill or get rid of dandelions. They are considered a nuisance in residential and recreational lawns and in agriculture. They get blamed for economic damage because they infest crops worldwide.

Pilgrims brought dandelions to New England from Europe in the 1600s, and planted them for health benefits which included curing scurvy, a condition caused by a lack of vitamin C. Because dandelions are hardy, they survived. Because they are aggressive, spread easily, grow anywhere, and are highly visible – the once revered flowers are now hated.

Children love dandelions. What magical fun to blow on a dandelion and watch white fluff somersault through the air on wind currents – tiny circus performers catching a moment of freedom and life in celebration. I still love blowing on dandelions. (I don’t do it when the neighbors are watching!)

Fortrose, Scotland, threw off winter gloom and followed a bright parade of golden daffodils this spring. Except the ones captured by cameras and memories, they are gone now. Now, the land has rolled out folds of green and gold tartan as dandelions march staunchly into the battle for continued survival.

Christians need to be like dandelions – not daffodils. We should be aggressive on the side of right. We should spread the Good News about Jesus’ love and eternal life everywhere we go. We should bloom where God plants us. We should be hardy, even when we are met by ridicule. We should catch the breath of the Holy Spirit and celebrate Jesus as freely and joyfully as dandelion fluff in a whirlwind.

Instead of daring to be a Daniel, like the children’s Bible song, we should dare to be a dandelion.

I think I just encouraged myself to go out and blow on some dandelions in front of my neighbors. I may or may not be back…