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Purple Coltsfoot

Homogyne alpina

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
35 centimetres tall
Cliffs, fields, meadows, mountains.

Purple, many petals
Reddish flowers with purple corners. The bracts are crowded and have a reddish-brown woolly base. The flowers are usually solitary.
The fruits have a long-haired crown.
A creeping perennial with leathery, dark, glossy green, kidney-shaped leaves, up to 4cm across. The leaves are mostly basal. The basal leaves are long-stalked. The undersides of the leaves are paler. The reddish-brown stems are erect. It is found almost exclusively at only one site in the British Isles - the Clova Mountains of Angus.
Other Names:
Alpine Beggarticks, Alpine Coltsfoot, Mountain Beggarticks.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Homogyne alpina, also known as alpine beggarticks or mountain beggarticks, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe, where it grows in alpine and subalpine habitats, including meadows, pastures, and rocky slopes. Alpine beggarticks is a perennial herb that grows to a height of 20-50 cm. It has hairy stems and leaves, and it produces small, pink or purple flowers that are arranged in dense clusters. The plant is used in traditional medicine in some parts of Europe and is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.


Purple Coltsfoot (Homogyne alpina) - A Unique and Beautiful Alpine Wildflower

Purple Coltsfoot, also known as Homogyne alpina, is a beautiful and unique wildflower found in the alpine regions of Europe. This plant is known for its bright purple flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer, making it a popular addition to gardens and wildflower meadows.

One of the most distinctive features of Purple Coltsfoot is its flower head. The flower head is made up of many small, individual flowers that are tightly packed together, giving it a fluffy appearance. The bright purple color of the flowers makes them a standout feature in any garden or natural landscape.

In addition to its visually appealing flowers, Purple Coltsfoot is also an important plant for wildlife. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers, making it an important food source for these important species.

Growing Purple Coltsfoot is relatively easy and it is well suited for a range of soils and growing conditions. It prefers moist, well-draining soils and partial shade, but it can also tolerate full sun if it has enough water. This plant is also fairly low maintenance, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners.

In the wild, Purple Coltsfoot can be found in the alpine regions of Europe, growing at elevations between 5,000 and 9,000 feet. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate cold temperatures and harsh growing conditions, making it a great choice for gardening in colder climates.

Overall, Purple Coltsfoot is a unique and beautiful wildflower that is well suited for gardens and natural landscapes. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this plant is sure to make a beautiful addition to your garden or wildflower meadow.

In addition to its ornamental value, Purple Coltsfoot has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The plant contains several compounds that have been found to have anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and antimicrobial properties. It has been traditionally used to treat respiratory problems, such as coughing and bronchitis, as well as digestive issues, skin irritations, and wounds.

However, it is important to note that Purple Coltsfoot should not be ingested in large amounts, as it can cause liver and kidney damage. As with any medicinal plant, it is always best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using it for therapeutic purposes.

Another interesting aspect of Purple Coltsfoot is its unique life cycle. Unlike many other plants, Purple Coltsfoot blooms before it produces its leaves. The leaves emerge after the flowers have withered and died back, giving the plant a unique appearance in the landscape.

Purple Coltsfoot is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be appreciated for its ornamental value, its benefits to wildlife, and its medicinal properties. Whether you are looking to add a pop of color to your garden, attract pollinators to your yard, or try a new medicinal plant, Purple Coltsfoot is a great choice.

It is also worth mentioning that Purple Coltsfoot is a member of the daisy family and is closely related to other popular wildflowers, such as dandelions, chamomile, and sunflowers. This plant is native to the alpine regions of Europe, but it has been introduced and naturalized in other parts of the world, including North America and New Zealand.

In its native range, Purple Coltsfoot is considered an indicator species, meaning that its presence or absence can indicate the quality of the surrounding ecosystem. The plant prefers moist, nutrient-rich soils and is often found growing near streams, rivers, and other water sources.

When it comes to cultivating Purple Coltsfoot in a garden setting, it is important to plant it in well-drained soil and to provide adequate moisture.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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