Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Variegated Japanese Butterbur, Sweet Coltsfoot, Fuki
Petasites japonicus var. giganteus 'Nishiki-buki'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Petasites (pet-uh-SY-tees) (Info)
Species: japonicus var. giganteus
Cultivar: Nishiki-buki
Additional cultivar information: (aka Variegatus)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

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

This plant is grown mainly for its dramatic, coarse, variegated foliage. The early spring flowers have novelty value but would be beneath mention if they bloomed when more plants do.

This cultivar often reverts to solid green by somatic mutation. This species is dioecious, and most colonies are clones.

The big leaves rise late in spring and smother all competitors. They flag dispiritedly in sun in the hot part of the day, even in near-bog conditions, but they perk right up when it cools off.

This species spreads quickly and aggressively by a running rootstock that's hard to contain---it will easily escape a big container through the drainage holes. At Naumkeag in Stockbridge, MA, it has taken over many acres. At the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, its spread is limited by water and paving.

I wouldn't plant this even in a large garden, because it takes over and monopolizes such large areas so quickly.

This species has been reported to have naturalized in Ontario and the Pacific Northwest. I'm concerned about its invasiveness in natural wetlands.

Positive henryr10 On May 15, 2011, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Be ruthless in 'weeding out' the plants that revert to solid green.
Most times these are seedlings that don't come true.

They also can green up a bit.
Though w/ the right sun conditions that shouldn't happen very often.
I've found they do need a bit more sun than the plain green ones.
With them, as most of the larger Petasites, they will wilt or flag in the heat. Just water and wait.
By evening they pump right back up .... sometimes very comically.
You can actually see them rise and hear the foliage rustling.

Neutral willmetge On Sep 13, 2006, willmetge from Spokane, WA (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant gets very large with each leaf growing up to 3' wide on a 4' high stalk. Protect from wind as leaves are thin and easily damaged. Will tolerate full sun in areas with cool summers. Keep constantly moist.


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

Vincent, Alabama
Little Rock, Arkansas
Hanna City, Illinois
Fairfield, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Slaughter, Louisiana
Windham, Maine
Silver Spring, Maryland
Florence, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Charlotte, Michigan
Rochester, Minnesota
Ballwin, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Cincinnati, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

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