Description: A perennial herb that flowers in late winter/early spring before the heart- shaped polygonal leaves appear.
Habitat: Stream banks, roadsides, cliffs, woodland and waste ground.
Distribution: Found throughout the British Isles, coltsfoot is native to Europe and northern Asia, and naturalised in North America.
Coltsfoot is one of the earliest plants of the herbalist’s year, and its leaves and flowers make an effective cough remedy, but it should not be taken long-term.
For more information about coltsfoot and how to use it, see the book Hedgerow Medicine, pages 34 to 37.