Species of the Month February 2019


Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)


An unusual looking plant, Butterbur forms patches in damp habitats such as river banks, wet woodland and damp meadows. The tall flower spike forms before the leaves, and can be seen in early spring.

The species is superficially similar to the invasive non-native species Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans), but there are several key differences: Butterbur is unscented and has large leaves with a grey underside, while Winter Heliotrope has a strong vanilla scent and small leaves with a green underside.

We have around 250 records of Butterbur at SEWBReC; you can view the known Welsh distribution of Butterbur here on Aderyn. More information can be found on NatureSpot and more images on WildflowerFinder.


If you spot Butterbur during February (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.