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Common Name: Arrowleaf Sweet Coltsfoot
Petasites saggitatus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
North-western N. America - Labrador to Alaska, south to British Columbia and Colorado.
Wet places, shallow standing water or marshy areas, bogs, fens, moist disturbed areas, roadsides, alluvial flats, recent clearcuts, moist woods and forest edges at elevations of 10 - 3000 metres[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will succeed in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
], but prefers a deep fertile humus-rich soil that is permanently moist but not stagnant, succeeding in shade, semi-shade or full sun[
]. Prefers partial shade[
]. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn[
A very invasive plant, too rampant for anything other than the wild garden[
Closely related to P. frigidus[
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Young flower stalks, used before the flower buds appear, are boiled until tender and seasoned with salt[
Young leaves - cooked[
]. A felt-like texture[
The ash of the plant is used as a salt substitute[
]. The stems and leaves, whilst still green, are rolled up into balls, dried and then placed on top of a very small fire on a rock and burned[
]. A very acceptable condiment for piñole[
Antispasmodic, poultice, salve[
A poultice of the leaves has been applied to itchy skin and also to worms that are eating the flesh[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in early spring. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.