Tussilago farfara (NL: Klein hoefblad / EN: Coltsfoot / DE: Huflattich / FR: Tussilage, Pas-d'âne) is a plant in the family Asteraceae that has traditionally had medicinal uses as a cough suppressant. (The scientific genusname "tussilago" itself means "cough suppressant.") The plant has been used historically 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 product. But the discovery of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the plant has resulted in liver health concerns.
The flowers, which superficially resemble dandelions, appear in early spring (before dandelions appear) and is usually one of the first flowers to discover after winter. The leaves, which resemble a colt's foot in cross section (the common english name refers to this), 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. The plant is a pioneer plant that focuses on new grounds and is often found in waste and disturbed places and along roadsides and paths.
Image: Ranst (B) - 22/02/2012
© Johan Dierckx
The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.
All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)
Please feel free to visit my personal website http://www.diversitasnaturae.be/