Europe, North Africa, Asia

General description

Perennial mat-forming herb <20cm tall. Large leathery leaves <20cm wide, finely-toothed margins, on long creeping rhizomes. Upper side of leaf green & smooth, underside is greyish-white with woolly hairs. Yellow, daisy-like flowers in early spring before leaves start to grow. Small, brown, 1-seeded fruit attached to dandelion-like parachute of hairs.

Damp areas: creek beds, stream margins, gravel. Prefers free drainage but will also tolerate heavier soil conditions.

Seed spread by wind or carried in wool, animal hair. Rhizome fragments.

Can invade irrigated pasture.

Site management

Follow up 3 monthly on rhizome regrowth until eradicated. Densely replant where appropriate to prevent reseeding.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out very small patches.
2. Weed wipe spring - summer (300ml glyphosate + 2ml penetrant/1L or 1g metsulfuron + 1ml penetrant/1L).
3. Spray spring - summer (100ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L or 1g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Arctium minus

Young plants of burdock are similar however coltsfoot's leaves are broadly heart shaped with palmate veins.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
coltsfoot - Main species image