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noun, plural: coltsfeet

Tussilago farfara, a perennial herbaceous plant of the family Asteraceae growing in Europe, Asia, and North Africa


Coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Its scientific name is Tussilago farfara. It belongs to the tribe of Senecioneae of the Asteraceae. The name of the species is derived from the Latin tusis, which means cough and ago meaning to act on. That is because the leaves of this species are used as herbal medicine for cough. They are also used as traditional medicine for treating skin disorders, flu, colds, fever, gout, etc.

The name coltsfoot is due to the resemblance of their leaf to a colt's foot. Another leaf characteristic is the angular teeth on the leaf margin.1

It should be noted that the western coltsfoot pertains specifically to the species Petasites frigidus.

Word origin: Latin tussis (cough) + ago (to cast or act on)

Scientific classification:

Scientific name: Tussilago farfara

Other common name(s):

  • tash plant
  • ass's foot
  • bull's foot
  • coughwort
  • farfara
  • foal's foot
  • foalswort
  • horsefoot

1 Barkley, T. M. (2006). "Tussilago Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 865. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 372. 1754".Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, Part 7: Asteraceae, Part 2 .Flora of North America 20. Oxford University Press. p. 635.