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Petasites japonicus, photo courtesy of Mark Turner
Petasites japonicus, photo courtesy of Mark Turner

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Zones 2B, 3-9, 14-17
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Ample Water

Petasites japonicus

Japanese Coltsfoot

Perennials, Vegetables

Native to Japan, China, Korea. This giant perennial, sometimes called fuki in the Northwest (butterbur or sweet coltsfoot elsewhere), is a dramatic choice for perpetually moist locales near ponds, streams. Creeping rhizomes give rise to big (2 1/2 ft.wide), round leaves on edible,3-ft.-long stalks that are usedby the Japanese as a vegetable (called fuki). Short, thick spikes of small fragrant white blooms appear in early spring before the leaves emerge. Locate this plant with care; its thick rhizomes are invasive, and the plant can be difficult to eradicate. P. j. giganteus has leavesto 4 ft. wide on 5-ft. stalks. Itsselection ‘Nishiki-buki’, with3–4-ft. stalks, has 2–3-ft.-wideleaves with bold white markings.

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