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Giant Butterbur, Petasites japonicus


Short description of Petasites japonicus, Giant Butterbur

Shoots arise from a stout rhizome and may reach 2m high. It is a perennial herb and dies back in winter. Leaves are 30 – 100cm across, kidney-shaped, rough-textured and usually dark green. The lower leaf surface bears matted hairs. Plants are dioecious and bear stout flowering stems 30-120 cm high with many creamy-white fragrant flowers in spring before the leaves develop. It can form extensive single-sex colonies in suitable damp shady places.

Description of Petasites japonicus, Giant Butterbur status in GB

Giant butterburr is naturalised in scattered locations across the country and is spreading slowly.

Habitat summary: Petasites japonicus, Giant Butterbur

It is found in shady, permanently damp places including river banks and plantation woodland.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: China, Kazan-retto, Nansei-shoto, Ogasawara-shoto, North Korea, South Korea, Sakhalin
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.24 (Denham)
Date of first record: 1924

Distribution map

GB Distribution from BSBI

Author's name:

Sharon Pilkington

Last updated:

August 8th, 2011

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Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark