Do Dandelions Burn in Colors?

Unless you're using special filters, you won't see a rainbow of colors burning a dandelion.
Unless you're using special filters, you won't see a rainbow of colors burning a dandelion. Zsolt Meszaros / EyeEm / Getty Images

Have you seen the photo of a dandelion that appears to be burning in different colors? If you do an image search online, you'll find the original photo, taken by Gregory Gomer, which shows a dandelion burning in usual fire colors. So, the viral image appears to have been Photoshopped or otherwise enhanced. It's still a great excuse for a fire experiment!

For the past few weeks, I've burned every 'wish dandelion' or dandelion seed head that I could find in South Carolina, Texas, and Nebraska.

I've burned dandelions from ditches, dandelions from fields, dandelions treated with chemicals, and dandelions spritzed with flame colorants. A couple of my results are shown above. While you can get a dandelion to burn in multiple colors, the colors seem restricted to shades of orange, yellow and red. My next test is to burn a whole bouquet of dandelions, just in case I haven't been using a large enough sample size.

Have you burned dandelions trying to get the color effect? Have you seen anything unusual?

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Do Dandelions Burn in Colors?" ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/do-dandelions-burn-in-colors-3975980. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2016, December 6). Do Dandelions Burn in Colors? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/do-dandelions-burn-in-colors-3975980 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Do Dandelions Burn in Colors?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/do-dandelions-burn-in-colors-3975980 (accessed January 24, 2018).