Petasites hybridus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaePetasitesPetasites hybridus


A dioecious rhizomatous perennial herb of moist, fertile, often alluvial, soils by watercourses, in wet meadows, marshes, flood plains and copses, and on roadsides. It spreads mostly vegetatively from rhizome fragments. Female plants are frequent only in N. and C. England. Male-only colonies are probably single clones, many perhaps from deliberate plantings for a source of pollen and nectar for hive bees (Stevens, 1990). 0-380 m (near Garrigill, Cumberland).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Rivers and streams

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 7

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1002

Life form information

Height (cm): 120

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1825

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 569

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 2

Atlas Change Index: -0.15

Weighted Changed Factor: -12

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (274d)
Atlas Supp (72a)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
Perring FH, Sell PD
1968.  Critical supplement to the Atlas of the British Flora.
Valentine DH
1947.  The distribution of sexes in Butterbur. North Western Naturalist. 22:111-114.