Confession: Dandelion is my favorite plant.
One of my favorite things about dandelion is its cheeriness. And I rely on it's sunny flower power once winter rolls around. If it weren't for my heaps of dandelion tincture & honey, I don't know how I would get through the gray parts of the year.
So, come summer I am buzzing around dandelion as if I was a bee. I collect them here & there. That being said, I never pluck all of the tops I am careful to leave flowers for other critters & bees & fellow humans.
This past week in Seattle I made dandelion honey from the flowers in my sister's yard. Dandelion is in fact a composition of up to 20,000 little flowers. Each "petal" you see on a dandelion head is it's own flower. It's part of the aster, daisy, or sunflower family: Compositae plants composed of many flowers.
I pluck the flower clusters from the stems, rinse them in warm water (often I don't wash plants, but in suburban yards yes, because, dogs), remove the green sepals that hold the flowers together, put them in a jar & cover them in honey. I cap, label with the location & date, & wait 4-6 weeks but usually until winter time to scoop a spoonful into a nourishing tea.
When I'm feeling down all it takes is a spoonful of honey & I have a whole team of flowers, tens of thousands in fact, on my side to cheer me up.