Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara

This plant flowers early and was spotted on the edge of a farm track. It is a member of the daisy family and its flowerheads are quite distinctive with a small disc, encircled by narrow rays.  The stem looks like an asparagus tip with overlapping scales, and the leaves have tiny, black tipped teeth.

yellow flowers of coltsfoot blooming in a grass verge

Coltsfoot usually flowers from February to April and is welcome colour!

The plant only grows to around 10-25cm tall with flowers around 1.5 - 2.5cm across.  It is often found in damper places, roadsides and woodland edges.  Globally it is very widespread as it is found across Europe, Asia, North Africa and even North and South America.

Other names for Coltsfoot include, butterbur, coughwort, foalswort and winter heliotrope.

Coltsfoot as a medicinal herb

Coltsfoot has been used in herbal medicines mostly as a remedy for flu, colds and fever.  The name "Tussilago" is derived from the latin "tussis" meaning cough and "ago" meaning to cast.

As a food source, Coltsfoot is visited by the honey bee as a form of early nectar and several of the butterfly and moth species.