Dandelions are called pissenlits in French. That's strange, because the English term dandelion is based on the French phrase dent-de-lion — lion's teeth — which is what their leaves supposedly look like. Pissenlit means "pee in the bed" and the name has to do with the plants' diuretic effects. The name is actually applied to many different plants. There are many species and subspecies of pissenlits. I took these photos a week ago. The slide show runs for less that 1½ minutes.
It's easy to ignore or even disdain the poor pissenlit. It's invasive. It's ordinary. You don't want them to make your lawn unsightly. Around Saint-Aignan, there are pissenlits on the edges of the vineyards and even up and down the rows of vines. They are hosts to beetles and butterflies. All parts of the dandelion plant are edible by humans. The tender young leaves, picked before the flowers appear on the plant, make a good salad. The flower buds can be treated like capers. Dandelion wine is made with the flowers' petals. Dandelion roots can be eaten raw, boiled, or sautéed. The French expression il mange les pissenlits par les racines ("he's eating dandelion roots") describes a man who is dead and buried.