Tussilago farfara (Compositae)
Coltsfoot, Fafara, Coughwort, Horsehoof, English tobacco, bullsfoot, foals foot, horsefoot, butterbur, flower velure, hallfoot, fieldhove, donnhove, son before father, Horsehoof, Foal’s Foot.
French = Tussilage, German = Huflattich, Spanish = Tusilago, Italian = Tossalaggine
Description: Coltsfoot is a perennial herb with a creeping rhizome and long runners. Both the flower and the leaf buds grow on the rhizome. In early spring, erect, unbranched woolly stems, covered with reddish-brown scales, grow from the flower buds, terminating in a pale yellow flower head, up to 35mm in diameter, with a single-rowed involucre composed of up to 300 strap-shaped ray florets and up to 40 tubular disc florets. Flowers appear as early as February right through to April. The flower becomes a white downy sphere when the long-stalked basal leaves begin to sprout. These are round, heart-shaped, shallowly toothed at the edges, and divided into five to twelve lobes. They are glossy and dark green above and greyish below due to the felt-like hairs covering the underside; the young leaves are densely felted on both sides. The fruits are long, cylindrical, glabrous achenes, with shiny white down at the tip, appearing at the same time as the large leaves.
Parts Used: Dried flowers and leaves
Habitat and Cultivation: Coltsfoot is a common invasive weed throughout Britain, Europe, North Africa and Asia and sporadically in North & South America where it has become naturalised. It occurs in a range of habitats that are typically disturbed, including rough grassland, shingle and sand dunes, road verges, waste ground, cliff slopes, spoil heaps and river banks. In agricultural areas, colt’s-foot can be a stubborn arable weed. This is a common plant of roadsides, conspicuous because it blooms very early in spring. In the areas where it is found, coltsfoot is usually the first small herb to flower in spring, it is still called the “son before the father” plant because its flowers appear long before its woolly leaves.
The flowers are gathered before they reach full bloom, from the end of February to April, and dried in the shade. The leaves are collected between May and July and are chopped and dried. The fresh leaves can be used until autumn.
Feel free to contact us for more details