Now it’s time for the son

16th March 2013

In an earlier blog we featured the plant Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara and described how the flowers appear before any of the leaves are visible. Well in this part of the world that time is now.  Look for the bright yellow Dandelion like composite flowers, slightly smaller than a Dandelion with a thick, greyish, scaly stem.  These were found literally feet away from where the old dying remains of last year’s plant were pictured.

Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara The sons before the fathers

If you find them in significant quantities there liquourice like flavour can be infused into syrups and  honey and then used to flavour deserts or stir the flowers directly into custards and panacottas. Dipped in batter they can be fried and served as a discount celebrex garnish or mixed with other flower fritters.  There is an interesting recipe in the Forage hanbook by Mile Irving where they fried in a mixture of oil and butter then mixed with soy sauce before being served on toast…..I’ve not tried it but it sounds interesting.  They can also be dried for use later.

As we mentioned before, don’t forget their medicinal properties particularly in the treatment of coughs and lung complaints but equally important remember they contain senkirkine and senecionine, two pyrrolizidine alkaloids which in excess will damage liver cells. So not too many, too often.


Kev Palmer


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