Winter Heliotrope
Petasites fragrans

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Petasites (pet-uh-SY-tees) (Info)
Species: fragrans (FRAY-granz) (Info)
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Groundcovers

Perennials

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

Unknown - Tell us

Hardiness:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter

Foliage:

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Succulent

Rubbery-Textured

Other details:

Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Martinez, California

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
0
neutrals
2
negatives
RatingContent
Negative

On Apr 17, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An aggressive, uncontrollably spreading perennial with a deep running rootstock. I see it growing in dense stands many yards across from which it excludes other vegetation. I suspect it's as invasive in natural areas here as it is in the British Isles. It isn't something I'd ever plant.

The early spring flowers (mid-April this year) remind me of a purplish ear of corn or bottle brush, and are more interesting than beautiful. They do have some fragrance. Some have compared it to vanilla or licorice, though it isn't strong and to my nose it's more evocative of wholesale flower market (Oasis foam and floral preservative). I don't find any similarity to heliotrope.

The foliage emerges late, after flowering has finished.

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Negative

On Jan 26, 2011, sfb_dot_com from Truro
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

A pretty plant, and often in flower on Christmas Day here in Cornwall. However it is an invasive weed that colonizes roadsides, waste ground and gardens. It smothers native plant species, and is extremely difficult to remove. The underground roots break very easily and each bit sends up a new shoot. Even weedkiller is largely ineffective.