Thursday, March 28, 2013

Carpe Diem #157, Tanpopo (Dandelion)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I am preparing this episode the sun shines, it's cold, but not that cold anymore as we had the last week. The Eastern wind has become less hard and that makes that the temperature is better, still to cold for the time of the year, but ... well ... I will not complain, I like this dry cold weather very much.
Today we share haiku on Tanpopo (Dandelion). I had to sought out the Internet because I didn't know what 'Dandelion' was. I found the following background on 'Dandelion':


Taraxacum (pron.: /təˈræksəkʉm/) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Eurasia and North and South America, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide. Both species are edible in their entirety. The common name dandelion (/ˈdændɨlaɪ.ən/ dan-di-ly-ən, from French dent-de-lion, meaning "lion's tooth") is given to members of the genus, and like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant.
The species of Taraxacum are tap-rooted biennial or perennial herbaceous plants, native to temperate areas of the Old and New worlds.[clarification needed]
The leaves are 5–25 cm long or longer, simple and basal, entire or lobed, forming a rosette above the central taproot. The flower heads are yellow to orange coloured, and are open in the daytime but closed at night. The heads are borne singly on a hollow stem (scape) that rises 1–10 cm or more above the leaves and exudes a milky latex when broken. A rosette may produce several flowering stems at a time. The flower heads are 2–5 cm in diameter and consist entirely of ray florets. The flower heads mature into spherical seed heads called "blowballs" or "clocks" (in both British and American English) containing many single-seeded fruits called achenes. Each achene is attached to a pappus of fine hairs, which enable wind-aided dispersal over long distances.
The flower head is surrounded by bracts (sometimes mistakenly called sepals) in two series. The inner bracts are erect until the seeds mature, then flex downward to allow the seeds to disperse; the outer bracts are always reflexed downward. Some species drop the "parachute" from the achenes; the hair-like parachutes are called pappus, and they are modified sepals. Between the pappus and the achene, there is a stalk called a beak, which elongates as the fruit matures. The beak breaks off from the achene quite easily, separating the seed from the parachute.
Seeds being dispersed from a Taraxacum seedhead by air currents
A number of species of Taraxacum are seed dispersed ruderals that rapidly colonize disturbed soil, especially the common dandelion (T. officinale), which has been introduced over much of the temperate world. After flowering is finished, the dandelion flower head dries out for a day or two. The dried petals and stamens drop off, the bracts reflex (curve backwards), and the parachute ball opens into a full sphere. Finally, the seed-bearing parachutes expand and lift out of it. The parachute drops off the achene when it strikes an obstacle.[citation needed] After the seed is released, the parachutes lose their feathered structure and take on a fuzzy, cotton-like appearance, often called "dandelion snow".

Dandelion seeds

In Dutch we call the 'Dandelion' "Paardebloem", in a free translation that would be 'horse-flower'. It's very common in my country and at the end of Spring, (Tanpopo (Dandelion) is a kigo (seasonword) for late-spring, you can find it everywhere. My grandchildren are enjoying Dandelions very much as they are loosing their color and the seeds are seen. They love to blow against the seeds and when they are loosening the stem that's one big party for them. It's a lovely sight as they're blowing against these seeds and their laughter is filling the air. Really I enjoy that sight.

Dandelion seeds dispersal

I found a nice haiku about Dandelions, but I couldn't retrieve the poet. So if you are the poet of this haiku, please let me know. Until than 'thank you for your kindness that I may use this haiku.

White and full of life
The sun gleams it's liveliness
Live on through the wind

I like this haiku (it's not one of mine by the way) very much and it inspired me to write my own haiku on Dandelion. (Today I have chosen to use the classical way of writing haiku ... so a one line haiku.)

on the banks of the stream as far as I can see a yellow sea of ​​flowers

Another one, now written in the Western way (three lines):

walking through the meadow
seeds of Dandelions airborn -
to another place

'look granddad!'
my youngest grandson plucks Dandelions
blowing against the seeds

blowing against the seeds

my grandson helps the Dandelion
to spread out

Aren't they wonderful? I loved writing these haiku and enjoyed preparing this episode of Carpe Diem. I hope that you are inspired and I am looking forward to all of your nice posts on Tanpopo (Danelions).

This prompt will stay on 'til March 30th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). That will be our last Carpe Diem Special by Onitsura this month. I love to share that Special haiku by Onitsura hereafter.

suzukaze ya koku ni michite matsu no koe

the cool breeze
fills the empty vault of heaven
with the voice of the pine-tree


  1. I love dandelions in all their forms and the prompt also reminds me of "Tampopo" which is a really amazing Japanese film about the role of Japanese food in their culture--It's an adventure about a woman who wants to become a noodle chef.

  2. I really liked this kigo.. Lots of thoughts.. and I see we had similar ones. Thank you for all your efforts Kristjaan

  3. another beautiful and inspiring article. loved the one liner though the other ones were great too. they bring more yearning for true spring and for green fields filled with flowers.

  4. Thank you for your very complementary post on dandelion! In Norway we call the flower "lion's teeth" too. I wonder why. There are no lions in Norway. And I wonder why they call it that in french. I must ponder on that.

  5. I am delighted to see a one line haiku in the mix. It, of course, is my favorite of this wonderful bunch.

    Very well done! I can't wait to read your essay on one line 'ku. :)

  6. Love this prompt! Dandelion is considered a weed in the US and people often work very hard to kill them so their lawn has no yellow flowers. But our pet tortoise sees them as a delicacy. Both my husband and I scour the neighborhood for dandelions when they stop being so prolific. Love to blow on them when they are ready to parachute too.

  7. Another very nice page. The one line haiku you wrote is superb, and the 'walking through the meadow' haiku is very special. An interesting kigo, very true. Thank you very much Kristjaan.

  8. Love your images of your grandchildren with the Dandelion Kristjaan. O too aaas taken back to childhood summer games :)

  9. Always a post rich with info and great cascading haiku which you seem to like lately ~ Enjoy ^_^

  10. Hoi Kristjaan, ik kwam je naam ergens tegen (via 'haiku my heart Friday') en het is al even geleden dat ik bij je op bezoek kwam... je organiseert een eigen 'haiku blog-serie' nu zie ik - wat leuk! Ik beloof niet dat ik in zal stappen maar zal zo nu en dan even aanwippen en wie weet - als iets in mijn straatje past doe ik een keertje mee. Aan de paardenbloem heb ik trouwens mooie (jeugd)herinneringen... de haiku over je kleinzoon is heel mooi en erg beeldend. Ik wens jou en je gelieven hele fijne paasdagen!

    1. Hoi Marit, wat fijn dat je mijn nieuwe weblog hebt bezocht. Ik ben vorig jaar oktober hiermee gestart en het bleek een succes. Ik heb al heel wat nieuwe haiku-dichters ontmoet hier en prachtige haiku gelezen. Ik hoop dat je nog een keer langs wilt komen op deze weblog en dat je wellicht een haiku met ons deelt. Thank you for visiting.

  11. Can anyone tell me how to line with my blog name, rather than the title of the haiku?

  12. Love the dandelion blossoms...a weed by any other name would be a flower.