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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

22 March, 2011

Colt's-foot (Tussilago farfara)

There is no doubt that the much colder winter this year has meant that signs of spring are still few and far between. Maybe, as a result, there is more obvious evidence of this little flower this year - it has less competition.

Colt's-foot is a member of the Daisy family and is related to Butterbur, Yarrow and Hemp Agrimony.

It is a small, almost insignificant flower, perhaps dismissed as a Dandelion but it is worth a closer look. It grows on bare patches of ground where the earth may be quite thin and can be seen frequently on the tracks of old railway lines for this very reason.

It flowers mainly in March and will soon be over. In keeping with its family ties those yellow flowers will quickly turn to fluffy seed heads to be dispersed by the March winds and then all signs of the plant will be gone for another year