Herb: Rubber Dandelion
Latin name: Taraxacum kok-saghyz
Synonyms: Taraxacum bicorne
Edible parts of Rubber Dandelion:Leaves - raw or cooked. 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. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Description of the plant:
(9 3/4 inch)
Habitat of the herb:High mountain regions, usually on light loamy meadow soils.
Other uses of Rubber Dandelion:The root is a source of a high quality latex, used in making rubber. Yields between 150 and 500 kilos per hectare are possible. The roots are harvested in the autumn, before any hard frosts which can destroy some of the latex. They are then macerated to extract the latex. The root is rich in the starch inulin. After the latex has been extracted, this inulin can be converted to alcohol and used as a fuel.
Propagation of the herb: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, though 2 weeks cold stratification may improve germination. 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.
Cultivation of Rubber Dandelion:High mountain regions, usually on light loamy meadow soils.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Taraxacum kok-saghyz:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.