This week we have been searching for cat's ear and have found that it is quite prolific in lawns and hedgerows.
Cat's ear is also known as ‘false dandelion’ and it is very dandelion-like except for a profusion of tiny hairs on the leaves and more rounded edges. Also, cat's ear flowering stems are forked and solid, whereas dandelions possess unforked stems that are hollow.
The name cat's ear comes from the shape and fine hair on the leaves resembling that of the ear of a cat.
It is common in dry grassy areas and flowers May to September. The leaves continue to grow through much of the winter.
Cat’s ear is just as nutritious as dandelions, less bitter, and has a longer season.The leaves and flowers can be used in salads in much the same way as dandelions.
The root can be roasted and used to make a coffee, the same way as it is done with dandelion roots. Medicinally it has similar uses to dandelion, but it less potent, so it tastes less bitter. You can eat the flower petals, leaves & bud stems.
I like the taste of cat’s ear and it leaves a nice fresh taste in the mouth. It is something I will definitely continue to use.
A cat's ear leaf compared to a dandelion leaf.
Note the hairy leaves on cat's ear plants: