Winter Heliotrope (Sweet Coltsfoot)

 Do not Feed
  • Common Name: Winter Heliotrope (Sweet Coltsfoot)
  • Latin Name: Petasites fragrans
  • Family Name: Asteraceae / Compositae

The Winter Heliotrope contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids in all parts of the plant, and although it is more concentrated in the rhizomes and stem, the leaves and flowers contain it too.  These alkaloids can cause serious damage to the liver, so avoid feeding this to tortoises.  The plant is vanilla scented.

Do not confuse with the more common Heliotrope (Heliotropum) of gardens, and with Garden Heliotrope (Valeriana officinalis), both of which are different plants from different plant families.  See Butterbur.

Also do not confuse young leaves of Winter Heliotrope with those of Garlic Mustard.

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