European Coltsfoot

Tussilago farfara


European Coltsfoot - a rhizomatous perennial that forms intricate colonies and grows up to 18" tall.

Flower: Flowers bloom from March - May. The solid yellow flower looks somewhat like a dandelion, but on a stem absent of any basal leaves. The stems are unbranched and each produces a single flower.

Leaves: Basal leaves emerge after flowers begin going to seed. They vary in size from 2-12" and grow from the rhizomes in rosettes. They also have a big variation in size and can be heart shaped, orbicular, or triangular, and have a narrow indentation at the base. The margins are shallowly lobed (5-12 lobes) or angled with small-toothed margins. Leaves have a mostly hairless topside and wooly white to gray underside.

Habitat: Can grow in both open and shaded recently-disturbed environments. It thrives in moist soils and can become very problematic in riparian or wetland areas.

Weed Classification: B Designate

Why is it a Noxious Weed?
This inconspicuous dandelion-looking flower forms extremely dense root networks makes it very difficult to control once established. Its thick formation and medium sized leaves easily shades out natives and prevents the germination of more desirable species.

There are very few historic cases of European Coltsfoot in Lewis county, none of which were confirmed this year (2022).

Control Recommendations:
WA State Noxious Weed Control Board
PNW Pest Management Handbook
WSU Extension - Herbicide Trial Experiment