Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara), the only British species of a small genus of composite plants, is a common and often troublesome weed on clay, or even on bare chalk. Its flowering scapes, with yellow flowers and imbricate bracts along the peduncle, appear very early in spring, and are followed by a large pappus and by the broad angular leaves which are cottony below. This cotton, soaked in saltpetre, was formerly used as tinder. The leaves are used as a remedy for coughs and asthma, either smoked or infused, tussilago meaning "cough-allayer." The leaves are often spotted with orange patches of a pretty little fungus, the coltsfoot cluster-cup, AEcidium tussilaginis.