Fig 1
DESCRIPTION: Height up to 15cm.  This charming member of the daisy family is a very early bloomer and adds a nice splash of yellow to an otherwise bare landscape.  From the creeping stolons arise flowering stems on which are borne solitary yellow flowers which close in dull weather.  The stems are covered in purplish-tinged bracts.  The heart-shaped leaves have a distantly toothed edge and are not fully developed until after the plant has developed.  These leaves are downy on the undersides and can grow up to 20cm across. DISTRIBUTION: Widespread throughout. HABITAT: Cultivated or waste ground, shingle and woodland edges on clay soil. FLOWERING TIME: March to April. EXTRA NOTES:  'Tussilago' means cough suppressant for which it was used however certain toxins within the plant are found to affect the liver, especially in infants.  Various philosophers smoked the leaves to relieve coughs and other chest complaints and even today it is smoked in certain areas and is known as 'baccy plant' and 'poor-man’s-baccy'. The specific name is developed from 'farfarus' an ancient name for the White Poplar whose leaves are similar in form and colour.  Another old name was Filius ante patrem (the son before the father), due to the stalked flowers arising before the leaves.   The felt from the leaves has been used as a stuffing agent and dried for use as tinder. 

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