Photo of the facade of NYBG's Library Building

Seminar: The Love and Hate of Dandelions

Friday, December 15, 2017

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

There is no fee or RSVP required. Please check in at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library on the 6th floor of the Library Building.

Dr. Lena Struwe presents:
The Love and Hate of Dandelions and Their Symbolism in Today’s Society

Of all weeds in the Northern Hemisphere, dandelions likely are the best known, and simultaneously the most beloved and most hated weedy species. Its biological features have made the dandelion into a commonly used symbol associated with hope and dream fulfillment, invasion and travel, rebellion and politics, and other human issues not related to plant science. Analyses of the visual and verbal iconography of the dandelion in contemporary printed and social media—product advertisements, political comics and memes, and other public displays—show that this plant, in both abstract and concrete form, is used as a neutral, positive or negative value marker. The symbolism of the dandelion is clearly linked to its rather successful morphological features. This has led to its widespread presence not only in gardens, but also as permanent tattoos, wall paper designs, get-well and sympathy cards, and last but not least, on herbicide containers.