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White Butterbur, Petasites albus


Short description of Petasites albus, White Butterbur

It is a rhizomatous perennial herb which dies back in the winter. Leaves are all basal, up to 30 cm in diameter, broadly rounded, shallowly lobed and often toothed, with whitish lower surfaces. Stout flower stems up to 30 cm appear before leaves in late winter or early spring bearing many pure white tubular flowers. The female plant is much less common than the male but it may produce dandelion-like seeds with long white hairs.

Description of Petasites albus, White Butterbur status in GB

White butterburr is well established, with the highest concentration of populations in north-eastern Scotland where it can be locally invasive.

Habitat summary: Petasites albus, White Butterbur

Typically damp clayey ground along watercourses, road-verges, waysides and in woodland.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Europe, Asia-Temperate, Northern Europe, Middle Europe
Functional type: Land plant
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: v.c.64 (Storthes Hall)
Date of first record: 1843

Distribution map

GB Distribution from BSBI

Author's name:

Sharon Pilkington

Last updated:

October 3rd 2019

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Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark