FatChance is brought to you today by the letter D.
Fluff of a common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Etymology note: The species name officinale - and the related forms officinalis and officinarum - are derived from a Medieval Latin word officina, meaning workshop. The word meaning evolved to denote a monastic storeroom, then an herb store, and finally, a pharmacy. The epithet is still used in the names of over sixty plants thought to have medicinal properties - plants that would have been considered essential in any well-stocked physic garden, or hortus medicus. Common dandelion features widely in herbalist traditions. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, and of iron, potassium, and zinc. Europeans used dandelion leaves and roots to treat liver ailments, and it was consumed by Native Americans for kidney disease, probably because of its documented diuretic properties.