Flora and fauna : Signs of Spring
Well Spring is hanging round the corner
and everything’s on the point of happening. We had a wander along the canal across from Swizzels last weekend and hiding behind The Hub (that pink building) were a few patches of lemon yellow coltsfoot. A sure sign of things to come.
Coltsfoot is the first of the ‘dandelion-like’ flowers to poke their heads up each year.
What an evocative, old-world name too, I’ve always assumed it relates to the fact that the flowers appear before the leaves, on a thick furry stem and flowerhead like a horse’s hoof.
They like infertile, disturbed ground: brownfield sites. You won’t get them to germinate in the garden (I’ve tried!).
As a Stockport kid in the 50’s it grew everywhere. You could even buy mini sticks of brown, hard sweet ‘rock’ called coltsfoot rock (anyone remember that?) which I assume had little to do with coltsfoot flowers but who knows.
Sorry…just Googled it…still available…’Flavoured with coltsfoot!’