Butterbur, sweet coltsfoot. About 15 species of spreading perennials of the N Hemisphere. Cultivated as ornamentals, or, in the case of the following species, for its edible uses.
A showy foliage plant with umbrella-like leaves to 24″ across, carried on stalks to 30″ tall. The unusual flower cluster appears in early spring, before the leaves develop. Cultivated in Japan for the large, edible petioles (leaf stalks). Prefers moist, rich soil and some shade.