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These are new sprouts of a large leaved plant I dug up to add to my Hosta garden. In the wild, they appear on moist, disturbed Appalachian slopes. They kind of look like a cross between rhubarb and colts foot with large pubescent leaves, backed in silver. The leaves are elliptical but formed of several almost straight edged segments. The leaves are more elongated when mature than in these sprouts. It's probably a weed, but I find it quite handsome.
Ligularia is not naturalized in my area. It definitely resembles Tussilago and Petasites, at leSt right now. Note that I said it looks like a blend of Coltsfoot and Rhubarb when mature. If it is Coltsfoot, that explains why I'm having trouble identifying it. But it did not bloom and the mature leaves are much much more elongated than I am accustomed to seeing in Coltsfoot.
So you guys almost have me convinced. However, I'm still puzzled as to why I so firmly didn't think it was Tussilago last summer when I collected them. I am wondering if I might have Petasites hybridus, which looks much more like the plant I remember. I might have to wait and see how it develops. Btw, P. hybridus is called "Bog Rhubarb" which would fit with my description of it as looking like a cross between Rhubarb and Coltsfoot. Only problem is, P. hybridus has not been scientifically observed in Ky. Still, I can imagine that invasion of species can happen faster than it being noted and recorded. I had a similar conundrum a few years ago when I noticed Lawn Marsh Pennywort everywhere. It officially didn't live here then (according to the USDA plant maps). But our hunches on DG were proven right and now it is listed as naturalized in most of KY.
All the evidence seems to point to Tussilago except for my stubbornness. LOL
Still, the leaves I remember seemed very shield like and not the rounded rosettes I'm used to. I maybe because I collected the in October and the shape changes near the end of the season? Or maybe there is jus some variability in leaf shape.