Answer: Petasities are hardy perennials, found wild near streams in the woods of China, Japan and Korea. They are very invasive plants, but make good ground cover by streambanks in large wild gardens. P. japonicus (Giant Butterburr) has coarse, rounded, pale green leaves, 32 inches or more across. They grow after the flowers are borne. The tiny flowers are produced in thick, round heads in early spring. They are yellowish-white, surrounded by light green bracts. This variety grows up to 2 feet high and spreads 5 feet or more. P. fragrans (Winter Heliotrope) grows 6 to 8 inches high and has fragrant, white flowers in late winter or early spring.
Grow these plants in moist, humus-rich soil. They prefer a shady position, but can be grown in sun. These plants can be very invasive so care must be taken where they are planted. Plants can be grown in pots for winter bloom.
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