Springtime flowerers - Butterbur

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Wed, 03.05.2017 - 12:30

Photos Arne Ader
Translation Liis

Harilik katkujuur




Butterbur     Harilik katkujuur            Petasites hybridus


The eye-cathcing but rather rare butterbur flowers. at the same time as the colt’s-foot that all know.

Where can we find this plant in the wild? The butterbur prefers a fertile, clayey and moist habitat: so in the bank areas of water bodies and also at ditch and pond verges, but it has also reached the seashore. Where more? For instance in humid parts of old parks.

The rather scarcely spread butterbur is a migrant in Estonia, its native country is New Zealand. In the Middle Ages monasteries helped to spread it; butterbur was grown as a medical herb and from the leaves and rhizomes of the plant preparations were made to treat people with plague and epilepsy.

The butterbur is eye-catching with its whitish-purple capitula gathered in a dense inflorescence; the stalks of the individual flowers also have a purple shade.

Insects looking for nectar happily visit butterburs..

On flowering plants we don’t notice leaves. When the flowering has finished, about when the seeds ripen, dark green leaves begin to grow from the base, and the further into summer we come, the more luxuriant they grow: in fertile habitats the length of a leaf can reach almost a metre





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