Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Why do so many Americans hate dandelions on their lawn? Are they dead inside?

Asked by Kraigmo (8685points) February 27th, 2021
16 responses
“Great Question” (8points)

Many people with dandelions on the lawn will pull them or mow them at first opportunity.
Many cities (midsize to large suburban, usually) don’t allow dandelions on the lawn either, and send Code Enforcement to have them removed.
Yes, we all know Dandelions are considered “weeds” because that’s what Dad said when we were kids.
But they are beautiful flowers.
Is the antipathy towards Dandelions a result of social brainwashing?

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Good question!

JLeslie's avatar

They are considered weeds as you said. I guess you could call them wildflowers? They take over a lawn. They are low like the grass and attract bees. From what I understand they are edible, I think people eat the leaves, I don’t know how they taste.

hello321's avatar

Lawns are environmentally harmful and the large majority go unused. They’re decorative and embarrassing.

Dandelions don’t fit into the concept of the “perfect” lawn, so they are not accepted. There’s nothing rational or irrational about it because lawns themselves are absurd.

longgone's avatar

I like dandelions, and I don’t do anything about them. But if you’ve ever tried to pull one out, you know their roots go on forever. And if you’ve ever watched them reproduce, you know they will multiply at an insane speed. So it’s probably more a question of whether you like them so much that you’d rather have a lot of dandelions than other flowers.

If you’re asking whether the desire to have a tidy lawn rather than a meadow is a result of cultural programming – yes, I’m sure.

Demosthenes's avatar

@hello321 I agree wholeheartedly, although I think it’s especially true in California and other dry climates. Luckily ever since the recent droughts, I’m seeing more people rip them up and replace them with native plants.

As for dandelions, I always found them pretty when I saw them growing in our yard as a kid and I loved to pick them. My parents didn’t seem too concerned with getting rid of them, and never used herbicides.

hello321's avatar

@Demosthenes: “although I think it’s especially true in California and other dry climates. Luckily ever since the recent droughts, I’m seeing more people rip them up and replace them with native plants.”

That’s promising!

Back in the late 90s, I lived in Isla Vista for a year. I remember being impressed with how many people in Santa Barbara scrapped lawns altogether and just had native plants. Of course, there were still some silly scenes, including people who had paved “front lawns” that they painted green.

Despite not having the water issues here in Massachusetts, most people still waste lots of water on making the “perfect” lawn. They load it up with chemicals and spend hours per week polluting the air (and peace and quiet) with lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Once they’re done, they then try to keep people off of their lawn. Even worse, some people let their kids and dogs play on these toxic chem dumps.

ragingloli's avatar

Because their constant womanising antics, and their terrible ballads and poems get annoying after a while.

Jeruba's avatar

I think this is really two questions:

Why do Americans hate dandelions?


Why do people hate things on their lawns that aren’t grass?

As to the first, I’m not sure they do. It’s more a matter of where they are than what they are, in my opinion. The fact that they don’t want nonlawn growths in their lawn doesn’t seem to me like evidence of soullessness.

As to the second: I love chocolate, but I don’t want it in my washing machine. I love books, but I don’t want them in my refrigerator. I love nail polish, but I don’t want it on my toothbrush. What’s wrong with wanting a lawn to be smoothly green, and keeping the unevenly distributed bright yellow attention-grabbers someplace else?

My neighborhood has a lot of rock gardens, native plants, and other non-grass-covered front yards, many of which showed up during the most recent droughts, and I like them very much; but a nice plain expanse of green, even one as small as we have at our house, is pleasant too. Random splashes of dandelions would not make it nicer.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

A green lawn is a happy lawn, a weedy lawn is a sad lawn. As my old pappy used to say.

flutherother's avatar

It’s the thin end of the wedge. If you allow one dandelion to remain on your lawn it will invite its friends to move in as well along with its brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins once removed. Soon you will have a veritable jungle around your home a haven for insects, spiders, moths, butterflies and bees. A chaotic mess in fact, but full of interest.

gondwanalon's avatar

Some people seem to go about their lives with a corn cob up their butt. Dandelions then seem to generates an urgent uneasiness within them that their lawn is sick. Those poor souls also suffer from OCDD (obsessive compulsive dandelion disorder) even if they have no dandelions in their lawn. They dare not rest no matter how much weed killer chemicals they spread. They worry that somewhere on some nearby lawn, there’s a single dandelion seed beginning to sprout.

ragingloli's avatar

The real answer of course is, that they are white supremacists.
They have deep seated beliefs of racial purity, which are intensified by their need to hide and deny their degeneracy, so they are compelled to inflict it on their lawns by exterminating the impure plant races.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Because they take over the entire lawn if not mowed down.
By the way a good way to naturally get rid of dandelions is to plant more grass and the grass will overtake the dandelions.
As per instructions from a neighbor who had an impeccable lawn.

raum's avatar

Just recently had a conversation about this with my 5yo. She asked me what a weed was.

I told her a weed is a hearty plant that thrives without humans tending to them.

But most humans seem to like feeling needed. So they crush the strong plants and tend to the weak plants.

Then she asked me why I was pulling up dandelions but not the clover. I explained that dandelion roots will choke out other plants. But clover are much nicer and will just grow in between other plants.

That said, I really do love dandelions. I even have some seeds saved from a monster dandelion I spotted on the side of the road.

I may grow it under a cloche so I don’t unleash some mutant dandelion into my area. (I’m hoping to cast it in resin.)

Brian1946's avatar

Apparently my loony vision of your botanical proclivities, is in the same horticultural ballpark! ;-0

raum's avatar


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