Wildlife Wednesdays: Coltsfoot

Tussilago farfara

You may have seen these yellow flowers, that look a lot like dandelions, popping up in your yard or woods. While its flowers are pretty, this plant is actually named after its leaves which resemble a colt's foot in cross section. The leaves don't appear until after the flowers have died back, so in the spring, the flowers appear with no apparent leaves.  Coltsfoot is a native of Europe and Asia and was introduced here by early settlers because of its medicinal values. In fact, this species was so highly regarded as a medicinal plant that the outline of its leaf was used as a symbol for apothecary shops in Europe. 

So, if you come across a patch of Coltsfoot this spring, take a moment to admire it for its beauty and interesting history.

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