Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Coltsfoot & Dandelion

The first spring wildflower is blooming on the edge of dirt roads near marshy areas. At first, i thought they were dandelions, but these bright yellow flowers have no leaves when they blossom.

Coltsfoot--so named for the shape of its leaf, just as "dente de lion" (lion's tooth) is named for the shape of its leaf. The leaves of both plants can be used in early spring salads.

Gardeners may consider both coltsfoot and dandelions invasive, but herbalists decoct coltsfoot leaves for colds, flu, and asthma. The dandelion is completely useful--the flowers for cosmetics, the leaves for vitamins A and C, and the root as a coffee substitute or as magenta dye.

Isn't it interesting how our "enemies"--plants, in this case--turn out to befriend us when we look at them more deeply?

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