Taraxacum japonicum

Botanical Name : Taraxacum japonicum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Taraxacum
Species: T. japonicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Habitat : Taraxacum japonicum is native to E. Asia – C. and S. Japan. Sunny ruderal habitats such as roadsides and edges of paddy fields at elevations below 500 metres.

Description:
Taraxacum japonicum is a  perennial plant ,  growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The roasted root is a coffee substitute. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea.
Medicinal Uses: Cholagogue, diuretic, galactogogue, skin, stomachic, tonic.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum_japonicum
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+japonicum

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