Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Daffodils are not the only gold...

Coltsfoot has arrived, which in my book means that spring is definitely just around the corner!

It was during a dog walk on the Bank holiday Monday when I spotted the golden smile of this early flowering herb. Coltsfoot has a fab latin name Tussilago farfara, which is taken from the latin tussis for cough. Coltsfoot has been used traditionally as an effective cough remedy and not so long ago you could buy Coltsfoot rock, a soothing confectionery for coughs and splutters.

The flowers come first, small golden disks that are coaxed open by the warmth of the spring sunshine. They are similar to Dandelion flowers but have a button of florets in their centre. The green leaves appear after the flower with an underside that flashes silver when the wind catches them.

Last year there where two very small patches of Coltsfoot, clinging to quite a steep bank under the hedge line. This year I have counted six so they are hopefully here to stay.

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