Common Name: Coltsfoot, horsefoot, foalfoot, assfoot, ginger.
Scientific Name: Tussilago farfara L.
Coltsfoot is a perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and has a long history of being used as an expectorant. The name 'Tussilago' comes from the Latin 'tussis' which means cough. The name Coltsfoot refers to the horseshoe shaped leaves.
The ray-like flowers of Coltsfoot resemble dandelions (Taraxacum officinale). Dandelions differ by having a smooth flower stalk with milky white sap and long lobed leaves. The leaves of coltsfoot resemble many species including violets (Viola sp.), some forms of rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes sp.), and golden ragwort (Senecio aureus).
Coltsfoot thrives in low-lying mesic areas including stream banks, moist field or pastures, roadsides, and disturbed areas. It can also be found in drier sites and in poor soils. It is intolerant of shade and is not commonly found in wooded areas, though it has been documented invading forests following fire.
Initial infestations may be controlled by hand pulling. It is critical that all of the underground portions of the plant are removed. Pulling when the ground is moist may make it easier to remove the entire plant. Residual roots left in the soil may resprout and possibly create several new plants. Hand pull before the plant has set seed to reduce the further spread.
Foliar Spray: This method is effective on large populations or where mechanical control measures are not feasible or are impractical. Apply a 2% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr and water plus a non-ionic surfactant using a tank or backpack sprayer to thoroughly cover all leaves. Do not apply so heavily that herbicide drips off the leaf surface. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide requiring caution not to spray non-target species. Triclopyr is selective for broad leaf plants and is best used in areas where native grasses are present. Treatments should be done in the summer when the leaves of coltsfoot are fully developed. Refer to manufacturer's label for specific information and restrictions regarding use.
Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara L. Purdue University. Nov. 14, 2002. <http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/HerbHunters/coltsfoot.html>
Cordell, Cherie. National Park Service: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Personal Communication. 4 Nov. 2002
Gleason, H. A.; Cronquist, A. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. The New York Botanical Garden; 1991.
Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal: Volume 1. Dover Publications, Inc. New York, NY. 1971
Johnson, Kristine. National Park Service: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Personal Communication. 22 Oct. 2002
Kartesz, J.T. A Synonymized Checklist and Atlas with Biological Attributes for the Vascular Flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First Edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC. 1999.
Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Flora of the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1968.
USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 <http://plants.usda.gov>. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. Nov. 1, 2002.
|Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller |
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.