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Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) ID'd

 
                                
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Hi all, in the last couple years this weed has become very invasive. I had next to none a couple years age. Looking for help identifying it and help on how to get rid of it. thanks
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Cj Sloane
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Looks a little like wild cucumber. What's your location?
 
Kota Dubois
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It is Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). It is an alien invasive in north america. I'm sure there must be a thread somewhere here on the permies forum, check for it.

That being said, it is not the end of the world. It is a pioneer species, doing very well in gravelly and sandy soil and will take shade quite well. It is a medicinal plant, a dynamic accumulator, and produces a large quantity of biomass (chop and drop). It is one of the earliest spring bloomers thus producing nectar for the pollinators. Dead heading the flowers before they go to seed will slow down its spread, but as more transition plants get established it will abate on its own.

I've also found that grasshoppers will select it over almost any other plant, and that it does seem susceptible to powdery mildew.
 
                                
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Thanks. my location is southwesthern Ontario. Yes, the lot is sand/gravel with lots of clay and white cedar. I want to get rid of it has it's taking over where the cedar have been cut down. Besides cutting before it goes to seed, any other advice in stopping it?

thanks again
 
April Boughton
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Location: Southeast Missouri
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It's a very good medicinal plant for bronchitis, asthma, etc. I grow it on purpose!
 
Cj Sloane
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Well, thanks for that ID Kota!
We have that growing all over the place and I just assumed they were dandelions.
I was surprised at wikipedie's image:
 
David Bates
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Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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Colt's Foot has two "seasons" the Wiki-picture shows what it looks like in the Spring, the picture you took shows the Summer and Fall look. The leaves and the flowers don't hang around at the same time.

If you have a great deal of it, gather it. Then dry it and shred it. Sell it to people to smoke. It's a fantastic way to clear up your lungs.

At our Swamp I usually make Birch stick rings around the yellow flowers when I spot them in the Spring. That makes finding the leaves much easier in the Fall, when I look for it.
 
                                
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smoke the flowers or the leaves?
 
David Bates
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Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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castlerock McCoy wrote:smoke the flowers or the leaves?


Smoke the leaves. If you don't like to smoke you can also make a tea out of two or three dried leaves. Don't drink too much the first time, just a sip (of course). You'll see that it sets you up with a nice productive cough. A glass of water helps too.

I smoke about a bazillion cigarettes a day and when I smoke Colt's Foot (named for the shape of the leaf) it clears out my lungs pretty well. It is good medicine.
 
                                
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thanks, i don't smoke, but most of my friends do, maybe i will dry some and introduce it to them
 
David Bates
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Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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It's almost-not-there-mellow when you smoke it. As with anything, try a little, tiny bit first and wait a while. Some people may have allergies.
 
Kota Dubois
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castlerock McCoy wrote: Thanks. my location is southwesthern Ontario. Yes, the lot is sand/gravel with lots of clay and white cedar. I want to get rid of it has it's taking over where the cedar have been cut down. Besides cutting before it goes to seed, any other advice in stopping it?

thanks again


Coltsfoot spreads by stolons just under the surface and are fairly easy to pull. But thats a real catch-22 because that disturbs the soil and that's what they like. They never grow higher than 8" tall and if you plant something that is taller and more deeply rooted, the coltsfoot will not compete directly with them and will actually form a living mulch layer under them.
 
David Bates
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Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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I like that, "living mulch layer". Colt's foot, in it's natural habitat is hidden under lots of other weeds. It's hard to find until the taller thing die away in the Fall, which is why I mark it with Birch sticks in the Spring, when you can see the flowers.
 
Travis Philp
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Castlerock, what are you planning on planting in this area?
 
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