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Herbaceous Perennial

Petasites japonicus

giant butterbur

P. japonicus is a substantial plant, producing huge suborbicular leaves to 90cm across, reaching 150cm in height, in summer. Flowers are cream to white, borne in February on stout erect stems to 30cm. The plant normally available is nearly always the male plant

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Cream White
Summer Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Petasites are perennial plants, usually large, with thick rhizomes or stems. Leaves are often very large and either heart-shaped or kidney-shaded. Scapes or stems many-headed, with any leaves usually reduced to scales. Flowers dioecious in usually rayless heads, purple or white, rarely yellowish, borne in panicles or racemes at the ends of the scapes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Korea China Japan

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in deep humus-rich, fertile soil that is permanently moist but not stagnant, in partial or full shade. It may become invasive

Propagation

Divide in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Remove the old foliage before the onset of new growth in late winter

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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