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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Sweet Coltsfoot - Petasites frigidus
Other Names:  Petasites sagittatus [in part]

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 8

External Links

General Description
Arctic sweet coltsfoot is a rhizomatous, perennial herb with erect stems that are 1-3 dm high and clothed in alternate, overlapping, brownish parallel-veined bracts that are 25-60 mm long. Leaves arise from the ground separately and later than stems. Blades are up to 2 dm wide and are spade-shaped with lobed margins and long petioles. Leaves are glabrous above but covered with long white hairs beneath. Many stalked flower heads are borne in a small umbrella-shaped inflorescence at the top of the stem. Each head is 5-9 mm high and has a single series of involucral bracts surrounding the white tubular flowers. Some heads have flowers with fertile ovaries and inconspicuous rays but without stamens. Other heads have flowers without rays but with fertile stamens and sterile ovaries. The achenes are topped by numerous unbranched, white bristles, which form a pappus.

We have varieties frigidus and sagittatus (Pursh) Cherniawsky & R.J. Bayer.

Flowering in late May - early June.

Species Range

Range Comments
AK to NL south to CA, CO, SD, WI and NY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 10

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Swamps, fen margins, and riparian seeps within open forest and meadows in the valley and foothill zones.

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Citation for data on this website:
Sweet Coltsfoot — Petasites frigidus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from