Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Tussilago farfara is an herbaceous perennial that grows in colonies which spread through its rhizomatous root system. A member of the Asteraceae family, coltsfoot has yellow flowers, and leaves the resemble a horse’s hoof. It has a long history of use in traditional European herbalism and was often surrounded in folklore. Coltsfoot herb is commonly infused for use in topical applications.
Coltsfoot grows wild over much of Europe. The name is derived from the horseshoe shaped leaves. It was so popular in Europe at one time that French pharmacists painted its flowers on their doorposts. It was brought to the American colonies from Europe. Before the plant flowers, it resembles butterbur enough that old herbals caution against confusing the two.