Picture Profile 2005: Petasites hybridus (Butterbur)

Petasites hybridus (Butterbur). Botanical Illustration


Artist Code 2005. Petasites hybridus (Butterbur). Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% cotton paper 140lb. 12″ x 9″. Completed 10th April 2020 (100 Limited Edition prints)

This is a painting produced for book 4 in the River Friend Series I am co-authoring and illustrating with Sylvia M. Haslam entitled “INTERPRET: What do Plants tell us?”. It is Figure 21 in the book.

This plant can be seen growing along damp places where it grows quite large. The plant can also survive in dry river beds where it grows small. The name “butterbur” came about because its large leaves were used to wrap butter during warm weather. There are several medicinal uses for the plant in treating migraine, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and emotional problems. You can see that the plant has a very comprehensive root stock which holds it in place when the river is in spate or in flood. It usually grows above the normal summer water level but within storm level.

All aquatic plant species which live along and in the rivers and streams are extremely good indicators of the health and wealth of a waterway and the River Friend Series of little books is intended to help anyone interested in rivers to understand how important are the plants and how, for instance, they are affected by pollution and by the water source drying up. There will be around 17 titles published in time. Please visit the River Friend Website for a list of the latest published titles.

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