NS4484 : Butterbur

near to Caldarvan, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

(Petasites hybridus)

Butterbur has some similarities to another plant, NO6946 : Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara); in both species, the flower appears quite early in the year, before the large leaf is fully developed. In his book "Flora Britannica", Richard Mabey explains that Butterbur leaves were used for wrapping butter in the days before refrigeration, and he describes the features of the leaf that made it particularly suitable for this. He also notes that the generic name Petasites is from the Greek 'petasos' πέτασος meaning "a broad-brimmed felt hat", the size of the full-grown leaf making it useful for providing shade.

The picture was taken just to the south-east of the NS4484 : Dismantled railway line; see that photograph for context. The same fence appears in both photographs.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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NS4484, 11 images   (more nearby)
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Date Taken
Friday, 30 March, 2012   (more nearby)
Friday, 6 April, 2012
Geographical Context
Woodland, Forest 
Plant (from Tags)
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4475 8432 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:1.5931N 4:29.5664W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4475 8432
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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