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I wrote about this plant’s alternative common names and supposed medicinal properties several years ago (Coltsfoot for your cough?, 26 February 2016), but the Plantlife website entry for Coltsfoot has some additional interesting snippets:

Whilst the great herbalists of antiquity including Dioscorides and Pliny recommended smoking the herb to help the throat. Although this practice probably won’t help the throat to heal, smoking coltsfoot is still thought to be a good substitute to tobacco. Hence the common name Baccy plant. Also owing to the fact that the dry felt on the leaves smoulders well, it has been used as tinder.

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Rest assured, I have no wish to encourage any of you to start smoking any of the Coltsfoot plants you see – I simply thought the information interesting. And I also found interesting the variations in flower colour I noticed within this display of Coltsfoot in a local park. They reminded me of autumn … but let’s enjoy spring and summer before we head back to the colder months once more.

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