Taraxacum officinale. Cultivated in good garden soil with a bit of balanced organic fertilizer, Dandelions are delectable and nutritious, and a far cry better looking than the ones you find between cracks in the sidewalk. This is a surprisingly useful early-season pollinator plant to help establish healthy populations of beneficial insects. Sow short rows of this wild green's seeds every few weeks from early spring to late summer, and enjoy the young leaves raw in salads. Or cook the mature leaves just like spinach. scatter the edible flower petals over salad, or collect the flower buds (you need a lot of them) for making dandelion wine. The slightly bitter leaves are a rich source of iron and vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.