Butterbur - Petasites hybridus


    Short to tall, hairy, patch forming plant that grows each year from a creeping rhizome. The leaves are large, roughly heart-shaped and emerging from the rhizome, they are grey-hairy beneath, appearing after the flowers. The male and female flowers are on separate plants (dioecious). Flowerheads are pale reddish violet unscented and borne in cone shaped panicles.

    Similar Species

    The Giant Butterbur (Petasites japonicus subsp giganteus) is occasionally naturalised.  It has larger leaves, dentate rather than lobed, and the bracts under the flower heads are much larger; the flowerheads are hemispherical unlike Butterbur's cylindrical heads.

    White Buttterbur (Petasites albus) has also been recorded in VC55 in the past

    Identification difficulty

    Damp habitats, river and stream banks, wet meadows and damp woodland.

    When to see it

    March to May.

    UK Status

    Fairly frequent in suitable habitats throughout Britain, except in the far north of Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 72 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map