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Coltsfoot Flowering

4-22-19 coltsfoot_U1A6685Coltsfoot – a Dandelion look-alike, a harbinger of spring, and a medicinal as well as invasive plant. This early-blooming flower can quickly be distinguished from a Dandelion. Coltsfoot usually flowers and often goes to seed before its leaves appear (ignore young leaf in photo!), whereas a Dandelion’s rosette of leaves are apparent when the plant flowers. In addition, the flower stems of Coltsfoot are covered with woolly hairs and scaly bracts while Dandelion stems are smooth.

Coltsfoot, named for the shape of its leaves, is of Eurasian origin, but was introduced into North America as a medicinal plant over a century ago (for its expectorant properties). It has long since escaped culture and become a widespread weed, invasive in some cases, especially in clay and moist soils. A pioneer plant, Coltsfoot often appears in disturbed areas, and with its dense broad leaves it chokes out native plants. It’s a sun lover, though, and therefore tends to gradually disappear as trees and shrubs move in and create dense shade.

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4 responses

  1. Stephanie Moffett Hynds

    Hi, Mary,
    For some reason, I am no longer getting your emails. This makes me very sad. I don’t know why this isn’t working. Do you have any advice? (A friend sent me today’s blog.)

    April 22, 2019 at 11:01 am

    • Hi Stephanie,
      You can try un-subscribing and then re-subscribing. I know that has worked for some people. Good luck! Sorry I can’t do much for you at this end – WordPress handles it all.

      April 22, 2019 at 2:49 pm

  2. Alice Pratt

    (I wrote this am…where did that go? Must have forgotten the Post button) don’t think I’m familiar with that plant. I wonder if the Bees like it…will need to look that up.

    April 22, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    • Alice Pratt

      I did look that up & you, Mary, did a Post on that on April 28th 2014!!

      April 22, 2019 at 3:12 pm

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