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The bright yellow splashes of Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) amidst the drab brown landscape this time of year are eye-catching, to say the least. Like Hepatica, Coltsfoot began blooming about a month early this year. Easily mistaken for a Dandelion, Coltsfoot usually flowers first, and unlike Dandelion’s leaves which appear before the flowers area evident, Coltsfoot’s leaves don’t appear until seeds have set.

4 responses

  1. Jean Harrison

    What a beautiful bright cheerful picture. I’ve never seen the coltsfoot flowers, although the road at my house is lined with the plants, because I come to Vermont in June. The best I have seen is some dried up seed heads, so I at least knew what family it was. But I didn’t know the flowers came out before the leaves. Thanks, Mary. It’s prettier than I imagined. It’s rainy and windy and dark here in California, so I’ll keep looking at this photo during the day.

    March 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm

  2. What I’d like to know is why does coltsfoot nearly always grow/bloom in the silty shoulders of back roads? I never seem to see it in places that feel more hospitable (or what I think of as being more hospitable at any rate…)

    April 1, 2012 at 12:08 am

    • I guess it’s like a pioneer plant, and just needs lots of sun and water, and not many nutrients!

      April 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm

  3. Exactly! Coltsfoot is one of the plants that needs the lowest amount of nutrients to germinate. So it’s often found in disturbed, infertile soils.

    April 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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