If the little yellow flower were imported and cost us $5 a plant, we would all be growing it in pots and exhibiting it as something rare and beautiful. But because it grows in field and wood and is the universal flower of the soil, few people bother about it or take the trouble to notice how pretty it is. It is useful too, for the roots are a fine blood purifier and the wine of our grandmothers is justly famous. Properly cooked, there is nothing better to eat than the leaves, and honey gathered from the flowers is delicious.
The leaves gave it its name. They are long and slender with a lovely rich green color and ragged edges which have reminded scientists of the tooth of a lion- dent de lion – or lion’s tooth. The bloom is a flat round disk of gold, thickly petaled and lightly dusted with pollen. After a day or two of bloom the disk folds up for the seed to ripen, and in a few days lifts itself again, except that this time it is a ball of misty white. It stands only for a little, while before the wind harvests the seed and scatters them to the four corners of the earth.