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Showing posts from May, 2012

Palmate Coltsfoot: Another Mystery Solved

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Palmate Coltsfoot (Petasites palmatus)  has been one of my mystery plants.  I had seen it growing from the shear cliff face on the north shore of Similk Bay.  The first time I went to get a photo, I found that some of the cliff had collapsed.  Only one small, uncharacteristic plant remained.  Last month, I trekked into Similk Bay again and found a large patch.  With better photos, the identification is now obvious to me.  Credit for ID'ing the plant goes to Mike B. at Slugyard.com, who accomplished it even with a very poor sample photo.  It is an impressive native plant with some leaves more than a foot across.  The Quinault Indians of Washington State used the leaves to cover berries and steam them in cooking pits.


There were also flowers blooming this time.  Palmate Coltsfoot plants bear separate male and female flowers that appear before the leaves.  Both types of plants need to be present in order to produce seeds.  It also goes by the names Petasites frigidis var. palmatus an…