Petasites sagittatus
Sweet coltsfoot
Image of Petasites sagittatus

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

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Key Characteristics

Perennial forb of wet meadows and fens in the Upper Peninsula; leaves, shaped like an arrowhead, are coarsely toothed and white-hairy beneath; flowers borne in whitish clusters atop a stout hairy stalk.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S1S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Petasites sagittatus

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Sweet coltsfoot is found in wetlands of several types, including intermittently wet small depressions in outwash plains dominated by jack pine. It is also associated with large peatland complexes.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Bog birch, several sedge species (eg. Carex lasiocarpa), bluejoint grass, willow, red osier dogwood, and blue-flag iris.


This species requires the protection of wetland habitat and maintenance of hydrology. It would also likely benefit from natural disturbances such as prescribed fire in some systems.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 24, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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