Have You Seen Japanese Butterbur?

October 22, 2020

Have You Seen Japanese Butterbur? photo

Japanese butterbur (Petasites japonica) is a large perennial plant with huge kidney-shaped leaves up to four feet wide. This invasive plant spreads mostly through underground rhizomes (stems) and sometimes by seeds. The leaves have very long stalks (petioles) that grow directly from the rhizomes. The spikes of small, white, sweet smelling flowers appear before the leaves.

Japanese butterbur grows in soggy soil, primarily around streams and ponds and also wooded areas. This plant can quickly invade an area and it smothers out neighboring plants with its huge leaves. In Metro Vancouver this plant is invading parks and sensitive areas.

Check out this video to learn how to identify Japanese butterbur.

We are working on mapping Japanese butterbur in Metro Vancouver. If you have seen this plant, we'd like to know! Data in any form is useful, either locations for us to visit OR any inventory data you may have. If you have seen this plant, please contact us.