4 May 2012

Dandelions - They're All Around

Have you noticed the dandelions?

Here they are in my local park. I’ve never seen so many.

Do you too harbour the suspicion there are a lot of them this year? And massive?

Then let me reassure you, you are right. Apparently they have stolen a march on other weeds by sucking up all the recent rain before the others could get their roots and stems sorted out. Now they outnumber them to the point they may be endangering those less opportunist wild flowers.

According to a Telegraph article the overall population of dandelions has also been increasing year on year due to nitrogen pollution caused by car exhaust fumes.
"Whereas other plants don't like nitrate, dandelions will gorge on it until they become so abundant that other neighbouring species start to be pushed aside and disappear.

"We are seeing a rise in dandelions at road junctions and roundabouts where they get a direct hit of nitrates from the constant exhaust fumes.”

Next time you’re on an A road with green verges take a quick glance – there really are a lot of dandelions.

This only adds to my suspicion the increase in cars over the last 40 odd years has caused the fall in insect numbers. See the post: Mason Bee House