Petasites fragrans

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Winter Heliotrope
Petasites fragrans 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Petasites
Species: P. fragrans
Binomial name
Petasites fragrans
(Vill.) C.Presl

Petasites fragrans (Winter Heliotrope; syn. Tussilago fragrans Vill.) is a medicinal and ornamental flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae.

Description[edit]

This perennial grows from deep rhizomes.[1] The leaves are large, up to 20 cm across and stalked with small regular teeth. The species is dioecious, male and female flowers being borne on separate plants. The erect flower-heads grow in short racemes on stems up to 25 cm long with a few scale-leaves. The florets are pinkish-mauve and appear in December[2] in Ireland and from January to March[3]:323 in Great Britain. The flowers have a vanilla-like scent.[3] Other species to be found in Ireland and Great Britain: Petasites hybridus (L.) P.Gaertner, B. Meyer & Scherb, Petasites albus (L.) Gaertner.[2] and Petasites japonicus (Siebold & Zucc.) Maxim.[4]

Distribution[edit]

Petasites fragrans is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, including Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and north Africa. It was introduced to Great Britain in 1806 where it has become naturalized.[5] It was recorded in the wild by at least 1835 in Middlesex [3][5] It is also introduced and naturalized in Ireland.[6] Female plants are unknown in the British Isles.[4]:771 The male plant is grown as an ornamental in gardens and some churchyards, and was well established by the start of the 20th century.

Ecology[edit]

Common on shady roadside banks.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ W. Keble Martin 1965. The Concise British Flora in Colour. Ebury Press and Michael Joseph
  2. ^ a b c Parnell, J. and Curtis, T. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
  3. ^ a b c Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Warburg E.F. 1968. Excursion Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0 521 04656 4
  4. ^ a b Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725. 
  5. ^ a b "Online Atlas of the British Flora. Petasites fragrans (Winter heliotrope)". Wallingford, Oxfordshire, U.K.: Biological Records Centre. 
  6. ^ Hackney,1992. Stewart & Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland. Institute of Irish Studies and Queen's University of Belfast. ISBN 0 85389 446 9