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As a comment about Giant Japanese Butterbur (Petasites japonicus subsp. giganteus 'Nishiki-buki'), eclayne wrote:

While the blooms aren't precisely showy, I wouldn't describe them as inconspicuous, at least here in my zone. This year and last the blooms have been some of the first green to emerge, and they definitely attract attention. The leaves are obviously the main attraction, so I'm hoping my clump has more big leaves this year. They should play nicely with a few Elephant Ears. I haven't noticed any rampant spreading yet, but the plant is definitely vigorous. I'm growing it in part sun/shade with plenty of water.

The petioles were a bit tough when broiled, but I'll try them again this year with, hopefully, newer and larger ones.

Update: 25April2015. Very vigorous!!! In two years I have leaves emerging two feet away on all sides. I'm going to have to move the clump to a new location where it can spread as much as it wants, if it can compete with tree and shrub roots.
Name: Alana H
(Zone 7a)
Frogs and Toads Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter I helped beta test the first seed swap Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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poisondartfrog
Apr 12, 2015 6:22 AM CST
I really enjoy this plant. I started with a small division a few years ago and they have gradually commandeered a 15x6 foot swath but I'm not ready to rein them in yet. I did not know they were edible. Presumably young leaves treated like spinach? Or just stalks, like rhubarb?
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Apr 12, 2015 10:08 AM CST

Plants Admin

That quite a patch Alana! Do they crowd out neighbors?

I've read both are edible. @Horseshoe provided the incentive to give them a try so I cooked some petioles, like rhubarb. There wasn't much new growth at the time so I'll give them another try.
Evan
Name: Alana H
(Zone 7a)
Frogs and Toads Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter I helped beta test the first seed swap Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
poisondartfrog
Apr 13, 2015 4:17 AM CST
Mine are in difficult dry shade where not much else grows except on the periphery. They have co-mingled on the edges with geraniums and hostas but so far those are holding their own. They get mowed with the lawn where they have crept into it. The yellow variegation makes the mat that has formed looked like a splash of sunlight. If they keep going I think mowing will suffice, but I could be wearing my rose colored spectacles.

They are getting pretty large so I guess if I am going to try eating them I should do so soon. Curious now, so I will give it a try also.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Apr 13, 2015 9:32 AM CST

Plants Admin

I hope you can post a photo when it's leafed out. Sounds beautiful.
Evan

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