Dandelion is from the French 'dent de lion' or 'lion's tooth and refers to the jagged-edged leaves.
Because dandelion is a powerful diuretic, it was called such common names as 'piss-in-bed' and 'pissinlit'.
The genus name is possibly from the Persian 'tarashquan' meaning 'bitter potherb' referring to the plant's culinary uses.
The species name, 'officinale', means 'official' or 'sold in shops' and was likely assigned because dandelion was sold in the market place.
Dandelion was used medicinally to treat constipation, rheumatism, and other complaints.
Young leaves of dandelion can be eaten as salad greens, flowers are used to make wine, and dandelion coffee is made from roasted roots.
Although leaves become bitter and unpalatable with age, they usually regain some of their sweetness after the first frost.
Dandelions contain vitamins A and C in relatively large quantities.