Coltsfoot is a perennial, herbaceous plant that invades disturbed areas throughout much of the eastern United States. The basal leaves are heart-shaped, slightly toothed and up to 6 in. (15.2 cm) wide. The dandelion-like flowers are bright yellow in color and emerge before the leaves in early spring.
Coltsfoot is an important larval plant for some species of butterflies. The genus name "Tussilago" means "cough suppressant". Coltsfoot has been used for medicinal purposes in the past but has more recently been found to contain alkaloids that cause serious problems in the liver.