This plant was flowering early in the season and produced beautiful white flowers. Normally it is the flowers that are the most interesting part of a plant, but these huge leaves are all that is left and I think more impressive.
White butterbur is a less common species of butterbur that we are lucky to have on the reserve. The plant loves damp areas and stream banks. Butterbur is a record holder as it has the largest leaves of any British plant. They can grow up 3 ft in diameter, although white butterbur leaves are smaller.
The name butterbur comes from the belief that these huge leaves were used to wrap up butter in warm weather in an effort to keep it cool. It has also been known by the name of Plague flower, as it was used all over Europe as an antidote to the Plague.
Like most plants it has many medicinal properties from treating gallbladder problems, to skin complaints. In modern medicine extracts from the root of the plant are used in treatments for migraines and some allergies.
Bye for now,
Rhian (Seasonal Ranger)