Coltsfoot

The weather has finally warmed up so this afternoon I went for a walk along the Sefton Coastline.

My aim was to see if I could find any sign of the Natterjack Toads but when I reached their breeding ponds there was no si9gn of any activity. Not even any tadpoles of the Common Frog. I decided to look for some wild flowers but again I almost drew a blank. Spring is definitely late this year.

Eventually I found some Coltsfoot, Tussilago Farfara. Family : Compositae.

03. Coltsfoot

The flowers are normally seen in February when a flowering stem appears consisting of a single peduncle with numerous reddish bracts and whitish hairs and a terminal, composite yellow flower. The leaves appear much later.

Coltsfoot has been used as a herbal medicine for thousands of years. 50 years ago when I was studying Pharmacognosy, I remember reading about it in Culpeper’s Herbal which was published in 1653.

All parts of the plant contain mucilage together with a little tannin and a bitter amorphous glucoside. The flowers contain a phytosterol and a dihydride alcohol, Faradial.

It’s medicinal uses are as a demulcent, expectorant and tonic.

The botanical name, Tussilago, signifies ‘cough dispeller. Pliny recommended the smoking of the leaves to cure a cough and Coltsfoot used to be the main ingredient in British Herb Tobacco.

04. Coltsfoot

When I got back to my car the tide was in and most of the Iron Men were submerged. I grabbed a shot whilst I could. 

05 Iron man

Advertisements

About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Natural History, Photography, Sefton Coastline, Wild Flowers. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s