Have you ever tried to pull up one of those things? Most times it will break off, leaving the root in the ground, ready to sprout another yellow bloom, followed by the white seed head, which is called a capitulum, by the way, which is made up of cypselae, which are then carried off by the parachute-like objects called calyx tissue. I bet that's more than you ever wanted to know about dandelions. But there are worse things to know.
First, the reason you cannot just pull up a dandelion is that long, thick, white, carrot-like (or more appropriately it seems to me, parsnip-like) taproot, sometimes as long as two to three feet. The tissue at the top of the root is tender, so as you grab a handful of the weed and pull, it will quite easily break at ground level. The plant will then grow back as vigorous as ever, leaving you with nothing to show for your work but a handful of dandelion greens.
And then there is this second thing, which we only just learned this spring. We planted a patch of wildflowers three years ago with seed we ordered from a well-reviewed company. The first year we had scads of cosmos and I think I figured out why the second year. The cosmos were almost the only things that came up and bloomed that first year. Just a few coreopsis and rudbeckia showed their little heads, as well as a small scattering of gaillardia. Really, if it had not been for the cosmos, we would have considered the seed a complete waste of money. But the next year we saw no cosmos at all. Instead, we had red phlox early on, and then the coreopsis, rudbeckia, and gaillardia boomed. I think that cosmos was just to make sure we had something come up and bloom the first year.
However, we now have some dandelion interlopers. Keith went around with a trowel digging those things up before the puffball could appear. And here is what we found out: two or three days later, the blooms, which had been lying in the sub-tropical sun with no roots in the ground at all, had still managed to produce seed heads, and there those puffballs lay on the ground, just waiting to dig their way into our flower patch! It was impossible to pick them up without spreading them everywhere. The least little breeze and they were all over the place. All that digging and pulling he had done had been for nothing. Next year he will carry a bucket with him and deposit them in it so they can be discarded far away from our wildflower plot!
Have you ever heard about young men who have to "sow their wild oats" before they mature and become responsible adults? If you are either a farmer or a gardener, you understand the fallacy in that philosophy. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Gal 6:7). Yes, I have known some young men who did indeed turn out all right. That was only because someone else did some heavy duty planting before they went off sowing those oats.
But even if they do come back to their senses, all those wild oat seeds will eventually come back to haunt them. As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same (Job 4:8).
Just like those dandelion blooms still managed to make seed heads, your sins will work that way as well. Whenever you take part in some sinful pleasure, having known that pleasure will make it much more tempting. Once you have gotten used to bad language, those words will forever be on the tip of your tongue when a crisis arises. And all those bad habits will be not only hard to break, but even harder to keep broken. And all because you thought pulling a dandelion up, even by the root, would kill it.
Make it easier on yourself. Don't even plant them.
For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. (Hos 8:7; 10:12).