Petasites hybridus   Butterbur CC DD N

Petasites hybridus Petasites hybridus Petasites hybridus

This is a very common plant of the riverside and damp waste places. It usually flowers before the leaves appear and there are both male and female flower heads to be found. The right hand side photograph shows individual florets.

So-called "male" flower heads have sterile, male and female florets while "female" flower heads have mostly female florets with a few sterile ones. Stace says the male flowers have a purplish tinge but I find that they can also be a shocking pinkish colour. The female flowers are often much paler, taller, often greyish when mature and have longer stalked flower heads.

Petasites hybridus is commonly found throughout the British Isles apart from the high ground in the far north of Scotland.

LHS: Roadside near Manchester Airport 07 02 05. Centre and LHS: 18 03 05 and 07 03 08 Chee Dale, Derbyshire

Added on 7th March 2008, updated February 28th 2011

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