Plant id – Giant butterbur

(Question)

Hello:

I’m having a little trouble identifying a plant that recently sprouted in our garden. I suspect it’s a weed of some kind, but I’ve never come across it before. Can you help?

I’m located in the west end of Toronto–our garden has quite sandy soil, and tends to be weed-prone.

Thanks!

 


(Answer)

Hi!

Thanks for highlighting this plant.  As it turns out, from a recent article, it is “A plant with as many names as it has uses” by Steven Chadwick in the Beach Metro Community News:

“The plant is called Petasites japonicus, a herb native to Asia and Europe that is not only interesting for its backwards ‘flower first and ask questions later’ cycle of growth, or the giant foliage that appears later in the season. This well-known perennial has also been used around the world as a dubious medicinal remedy, a method of food preservation, and is a wildly popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine.”

https://www.beachmetro.com/2014/04/15/plant-names/

 Happy gardening!