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 Coltsfoot
 
Tussilago farfara

Other Names:
  Son-before-Father

Habitat/Distribution:  This native plant is widespread throughout Britain.  It prefers a heavy clay soil, but can be found growing on any poor soil.  It prefers a sunny site.

Description:  Small native perennial with sulphur-yellow flowers from February to 
 April.  The flowers appear before the leaves (hence the folk name 'Son-before-Father')
; they open up in the sun and close again at night. The seed heads resemble those of dandelions and are carried on the wind.

Uses:  Traditionally, the leaves were dried and smoked in a pipe for the relief of asthma. 

Wildlife:  Along with some of our other early flowering native plants, Coltsfoot is an early source of food for bees and other insects.

 

Sowing Instructions for Seeds:  Ideally, sow in the autumn in trays kept outdoors so that the seeds are naturally stratified (periods of alternating warmth and cold). At other times, sow and keep at around 22C for 1-2 months. Cool for 1-2 months (around 0C) in a fridge. Then warmer (around 10C) for about a month. It may be necessary to repeat this process if using the fridge method. Germination is inhibited by temperatures above 20C.

  

Our plants and seeds are of native British origin.