Petasites fragrans Asteraceae (Guernsey) Coltsfoot / Winter Heliotrope

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Petasites fragrans 34kb

Description - This plant has large round leaves and pink, fragrant flowers in the middle of winter

Habitat - Island-wide on hedgebanks and waste places

Comments - It is called Coltsfoot in the Channel Islands, and in parts of south west England. The plant known as Coltsfoot in the rest of the UK is quite different and rare in Guernsey. This one was introduced as a garden plant from Italy but it has been known in the wild in Guernsey for nearly 200 years. All plants of this species in Europe are male, so it never sets seed and can only spread vegetatively.
The leaves were used as a tobacco substitute in the war.

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