Additional notes (click to expand)


Culpeper: ‘Tussilago. Coltsfoot. ... they are admirable good for coughs and consumptions of the lungs, shortness of breath etc. It is often used and with great success taken in a tobacco pipe, being cut and mixed with a little oil of Annis seeds.’
Culpeper, Nicholas. (1650). A Physical Directory . London, Peter Cole.

Used in cough syrups


OTHER COMMON NAMES: Coltsfoot; Ass's foot; Bull foot; Clay weed; Cleats; Cleets; Colt herb; Common Colt's foot; Coughwort; Dove dock; Dummy weed; Foal foot; Foal's foot; Ginger; Hoofs; Horse foot; Horse hoof; Sow foot; Tushy luck.
The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database, available at


Notes: It was suspected that it might be hepatotoxic (MCA, 2002), but it is likely that a Senecio was responsible. However it is genotoxic and carcinogenic due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids that it contains. It should not be taken internally (MCA, 2002).
Medicines Control Agency (MCA), . (2002). MCA Parliamentary Report 'Saferty of Herbal Medicnes'. MCA.

Contains senkirkine, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, which is possibly carcinogenic and is genotoxic.
van den Berg, S.J.P.L., Restani, et al., P.. (2011). Levels of Genotoxic and Carcinogenic Compounds in Plant Food Supplements and Associated Risk Assessment. Food and Nutrition Science 2: 989-1010. link

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, Northern Africa, Algeria
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Morocco
  • Asia-Temperate, Caucasus
  • Asia-Temperate, China
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Tadzhikistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Turkmenistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Russian Far East
  • Asia-Temperate, Siberia
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Afghanistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Cyprus
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Iran
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Lebanon-Syria
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, India
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Nepal
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, Northwest European Russia
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, South European Russia
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, Ukraine
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Austria
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Belgium
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Germany
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Hungary
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Netherlands
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Poland
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Slovakia
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Switzerland
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Denmark
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Finland
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Great Britain
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Ireland
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Norway
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Sweden
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Albania
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Czech Republic
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Greece
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Italy
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Romania
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, France
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Spain

Tussilago farfara L.

Genus: Tussilago
Species: farfara L.
Common names: Coltsfoot
Pharmacopoeia Londinensis name: Tussilago
Distribution summary: Eurasia
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H5 - Hardy; cold winter
Habitat: Damp meadows, sandy streamsides
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Pharmacopoeia Londinensis 1618 'Leaves' (HSE 6)
Flowering months: April
Reason for growing: Medicinal, toxic

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