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Uses

Toxic parts

The plant contains traces of liver-affecting pyrrolizidine alkaloids and is potentially toxic in large doses[1]. These alkaloids have not proved toxic at low dosages in tests and there is no suggestion that this plant should not be used medicinally[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Flower buds and young flowers - raw or cooked[3][4]. A pleasant aniseed flavour[K], they add a distinctive aromatic flavour to salads[5].

Young leaves - raw or cooked[5][3][4]. They can be used in salads, added to soups, or cooked as a vegetable[2]. The leaves have a bitter taste unless they are washed after being boiled[6]. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves and flowers[4]. It has a liquorice-like flavour[2]. The dried and burnt leaves are used as a salt substitute[7][4].

The slender rootstock is candied in sugar syrup[4].

Flowers

Leaves

Unknown part

Material uses

The soft down on the underside of the leaves is used as a stuffing material[8][9]. When wrapped in a rag, dipped in saltpetre and dried in the sun it makes an excellent tinder[10].

Plants have an extensive root system and are used to stabilize banks[11].

The leaves are a valuable addition to the compost heap[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

An effective demulcent and expectorant herb, coltsfoot is one of the most popular European remedies for the treatment of a wide range of chest complaints[12]. It is widely available in health food shops. The leaves are commonly used in Europe, though the flowering stems (which contain higher levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids) are preferred in China[12]. They are rich in mucilage and are the main parts used, though the root is also sometimes employed[10][13]. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids have a toxic effect upon the liver, but are largely destroyed when the plant is boiled to make a decoction[12]. Some caution should be employed in the use of this remedy - the flowers should not be used except under professional supervision, the leaves should not be used for more than 4 - 6 weeks at a time, the herb should not be taken whilst pregnant or breast-feeding and it should not be given to children under the age of six[12].

Modern research has shown that extracts of the whole plant can increase immune resistance[12]. In a Chinese trial 75% of patients suffering from bronchial asthma showed some improvement after treatment with this plant, though the anti-asthmatic effect was short-lived[12]. The leaves are harvested in June and early July, the flowers are harvested when fully open and the root is harvested in the autumn. All can be dried and used as required[10]. The plant is antitussive, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. It is widely used in the treatment of coughs and respiratory problems[10][14][5][15][16][9][17][18][19] and is often candied so that it can be sucked as a sweet[10]. The plant is of particular use in the treatment of chronic emphysema and silicosis, helping to relieve the persistent cough associated with these conditions[13]. Coltsfoot is particularly effective when used in combination with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza species), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and wild cherry (Prunus serotina)[12]. A poultice of the flowers has a soothing effect on a range of skin disorders including eczema, ulcers, sores, bites and inflammations[14][2].

A bitter, tonic and diaphoretic preparation can be obtained from the root[14].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Earth stabiliser

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - the plant does not usually require help with spreading itself around, but if required the seed can be sown in situ in early spring or autumn. Division of the roots is very easy and succeeds at almost any time in the year. The divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Tussilago farfara. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils when grown in full sun[20]. It prefers a moist neutral to alkaline soil and will also succeed in partial shade[2].

Plants are hardy to about -29°c[2].

Coltsfoot is a very tough plant that is more than capable of looking after itself. When well sited its roots will spread very freely sending up new shoots at some distance from the clump even if growing amongst dense weed competition[K]. This can make it a problem weed in gardens[11], so either choose your site with care or find some means of restraining it such as by planting in a large tub that is buried in the ground[K]. The rhizomes can lay dormant in the soil for many years, emerging when the soil is disturbed[11].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Tussilago farfara. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Tussilago farfara.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Tussilago farfara
Genus
Tussilago
Family
Compositae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Tussilago-farfara-plant.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Tussilago-farfara-plant.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.7 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 De. Bray. L. The Wild Garden. ()
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.412.512.612.7 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.113.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  18. ? 18.018.1 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
  19. ? 19.019.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  20. ? Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
  21. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

"image:Tussilago-farfara-plant.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Tussilago farfara"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyCompositae +
Belongs to genusTussilago +
Functions asEarth stabiliser +
Has binomial nameTussilago farfara +
Has common nameColtsfoot +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partFlowers +, Leaves + and Unknown part +
Has edible useUnknown use +, Salt + and Tea +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure + and High wind +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Bees +, Flies + and Self +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has hardiness zone5 +
Has imageTussilago-farfara-plant.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useCompost +, Oil +, Stuffing + and Tinder +
Has mature height0.22 +
Has mature width1 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntitussive +, Astringent +, Bitter +, Demulcent +, Diaphoretic +, Emollient +, Expectorant +, Skin +, Stimulant + and Tonic +
Has primary imageTussilago-farfara-plant.jpg +
Has search nametussilago farfara + and coltsfoot +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameTussilago farfara +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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