A tall, erect, and beautiful plant of the hawkweed kind, with yellow flowers, and very hairy leaves; it is frequent in the mountainous parts of Europe, and we have it wild in some places in England, upon walls and in very dry places, but with us it is not common, It is two feet high; the leaves are large and oblong; they grow half a dozen or thereabout immediately from the root, and have thick foot-stalks; they are oblong, broad, of a deep and often a purplish colour, and are extremely hairy, the hairs being long, white, and set so thick, that they give it an aspect of woolliness. The stalk is round, slender, tolerably firm, upright, of a purplish colour, and also hairy: the leaves on it are smaller than those from the root, but like them in shape, and they are in the same manner very hairy. The flowers are not very large, but they are of a beautiful yellow, and they have the more singular aspect, as the plant has so much whiteness. The seeds are winged with a white down.
The young leaves rising from the root, are the part used. They are of the same nature with those of coltsfoot, but they possess their virtues in a much greater degree. In many other parts of Europe, where the plant is more common, it is a constant medicine in diseases of the lungs, in coughs, asthmas, and the first stages of consumptions; it is best given in form of a strong infusion; and I have known it tried here with more success than could be expected from so simple a remedy, in cases of such consequence. It is scarce wild, but it is easily propagated in gardens. Let but one plant of it ripen its seeds and leave them to the chance of the winds, and the garden, the walls, and the neighbouring places will never be without a sufficient supply of it, for all purposes.