Invasive Species: Tussilago farfara, Coltsfoot
Coltsfoot is a perennial, herbaceous plant that invades disturbed areas throughout much of the eastern United States. The basal leaves are heart-shaped, slightly toothed, and up to 6 in. (15.2 cm) wide. The dandelion-like flowers are bright yellow in color and emerge before the leaves in early spring. The white, fluffy seed heads resemble dandelions. It also reproduces through rhizomes. Coltsfoot invades moist, open, disturbed areas such as stream banks, ditches, and fields. Spreading both by seed and rhizomes allows it to form large colonies, which can displace native species. Coltsfoot is native to Europe and was probably introduced into the United States by early settlers for medicinal purposes.
Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species
Asterales > Asteraceae > Tussilago farfara L.
Synonym(s): colts foot
Tussilago farfara – USDA PLANTS Profile
Coltsfoot – The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)
Reporting This Invasive Species
How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS – Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System?
EDDMapS – Report an invasive species to EDDMapS.
Cooperative Extension Offices – Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA.
How to Identify
This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.
Coltsfoot is a perennial, herbaceous plant.
|Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, bugwood.org||Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, bugwood.org|
The basal leaves are heart-shaped, slightly toothed, and up to 6 in. (15.2 cm) wide.
|Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, bugwood.org||Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, bugwood.org|
The dandelion-like flowers are bright yellow in color and emerge before the leaves in early spring.
|Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, Ohio State University, bugwood.org||Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, bugwood.org|
The white, fluffy seed heads resemble dandelions. It also reproduces through rhizomes.
|Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, bugwood.org||Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, bugwood.org|
Native Species That Can Resemble Coltsfoot
– Images at invasive.org
– Images at invasive.org
Additional Images for Coltsfoot
Coltsfoot – Images at Invasive.org
Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources
Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state’s land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.
United States Land-Grant University System – Find your land-grant university’s college of agriculture, Cooperative Extension office, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.
A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests – USDA Forest Service
A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests – USDA Forest Service
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England – University of Connecticut
Weed of the Week – USDA Forest Service