Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is a plant in the family Asteraceae.
It has been used medicinally as a cough suppressant. The name “tussilago” itself means “cough suppressant.” The plant has been used since at least historical times to treat lung ailments such as asthma as well as various coughs by way of smoking. Crushed flowers supposedly cured skin conditions, and the plant has been consumed as a food item.
Coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant that spreads by seeds and rhizomes. Tussilago is often found in colonies of dozens of plants. The flowers, which superficially resemble dandelions, appear in early spring before dandelions appear. The leaves, which resemble a colt’s foot in cross section, do not appear usually until after the seeds are set. Thus, the flowers appear on stems with no apparent leaves, and the later appearing leaves then wither and die during the season without seeming to set flowers. The plant is typically between 10 – 30 cm in height.
This image was captured in mid-April 2008 in Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby, Ontario, Canada.
Today I was awarded Outstanding Member of the Month for March 2010 by the hosts of the Canadiana group in RedBubble. I would like to sincerely thank them for this honour and for featuring so many of my images on the groups front page.
(Each thumbnail in the above image is a link to the appropriate oage)