Also known as: Japanese coltsfoot, fuki, giant butterbur, creamy butterbur
At first glance, Japanese butterbur appears to be a tropical beauty and a fantastic groundcover for your back yard. But beauty can be deceiving! Its huge leaves shade out other plants and can lead to erosion.
|Life Cycle:||Perennial (life cycle lasts more than one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||Yes|
|Height:||Up to 6 feet tall (2 meters)|
|Leaf Description:||Kidney-shaped leaves are very large; each leaf can be up to 4 feet (1.3 meters) wide! Leaves are green on top and can be fuzzy on their underside.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||White or cream-colored flower clumps emerge before the leaves. It needs both male and female plants to produce seeds, but the plant spreads mostly through underground rhizomesContinuously growing, horizontal underground stems..|
|Bloom Time:||March to April|
- Japanese butterbur requires constant moisture and grows best in partially shaded areas including along meadows, fields, creeks, and streams.
- Japanese butterbur’s large leaves can shade out other plants, leaving bare ground, which can lead to erosion.
- It primarily spreads by rhizomes which can spread out in all directions. This allows it to spread rapidly.
What you can do about it:
- Please report any Japanese butterbur infestation to the Oregon Invasive Species Hotline.
- Gardeners sometimes plant Japanese butterbur in containers to check its spread, but this plant is an escape artist! It’s been known to spread in spite of containment.
- Hand-pulling is an effective way to remove small areas, although you’ll have to continue pulling sprouts for at least a few years.
- Mowing will not remove the plant but can help keep it from spreading.
Japanese butterbur looks similar to its relative, common butterbur (Petasites frigidus), which can also be invasive. Common butterbur has pink to purple flowers and the leaves are a smaller, only growing to 1-2 feet across.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Not listed|
|State of Washington:||Monitor|