Common names of Tussilago (“cough suppressant” in Latin) farfara include Coughwort, Farfara, Ass’s foot, Bull’s foot, Butterbur, Foal’s foot, Foalswort, Horse Foot and Winter heliotrope and so on.
Native to several locations in Europe and Asia where it was used in herbal medicine at least from the earliest historical times onwards and has been introduced in North America and South America by early settlers for the same reason.
The perennial plant can colonize waste and disturbed places, spreads by its numerous seeds and its rhizome and at certain locations it is considered as an invasive weed. Has been used to treat lung ailments such as asthma as well as various coughs by way of smoking and the plant has been consumed as a food item.
Along stream banks growing in nutrient-rich soil it can produce huge leaves, hugely enjoyed by children using the leaves as a makeshift umbrella, hence such scenarios are often illustrated in fairy tale, etc. books for children.