(WHTM) – Weeds can be an annoying part of any gardener or landscaper’s hobby or profession. They often stand out or overwhelm your projects, causing us to spend hours picking or spraying them.
However, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says there are many reasons to leave the dandelions alone.
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While not a native species, the DCNR says dandelions are an early food source for pollinators such as bees, before other flowers can bloom. Hummingbirds also use them for their nests, while some insects use their leaves for shelter.
Dandelion seeds and leaves can also feed numerous species of birds, chipmunks, and other wildlife. The USDA says in Yellowstone National Park, dandelions are an important food for grizzly bears in summer.
Dandelions are not only useful to wildlife, but they can provide nutrients to the soil, create drainage in compact soils, and help prevent erosion.
The DCNR also says dandelions are edible and have medicinal value and pose no threats to plants or wildlife.