I spotted this growing on a verge at the side of a car park in Loggerheads, North Wales yesterday. The plant stood approximately a little over five and a half feet high. It was growing in shade close to a small water filled ditch. I have included pictures with someone in them, to give a sense of scale to the plant. The person in the picture is six feet tall.
I'm also interested in the plant on the far side of the ditch, to the right of the main plant, if anyone can ID this also. I have made an enlargmet of it in picture Capture 3
Thank you both for the reply,
I agree with Greater Burdock for the tall plant. I was also thinking along the lines of Gunnera for the Capture 3 picture but it doesn't have a ragged edge like the Gunneras I've seen. Also it's nowhere as large a leaf as Gunnera Mantica. It's possibly 18"-24" in diameter, with a height of around 1 metre. I have seen a few places in North wales where this plant has gained a foothold. If it is a Gunnera then it must be a garden escape although I've seen it in places nowhere near habitation.
I think your plant in pic 3 is Giant Butterbur, Petasites japonicus, https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/gallery/index.cfm?searchtype=s&query=Giant%20Butterbur&habitat=&organismtype=&cmdSearch=Search
an invasive non-native.
I agree with Burdock for the other very tall plant.
Of course Capture3 is a Petasites. But what a difference between identifying from photos and in real life. Below is a few photos of some plants I see close to every day (including today) - Petasites hybridus (I had no camera, so I had to use my phone):
The highest are about one meter high and their leaves are 50 cm or more in diameter.
Why did I think of Gunnera? Because I was "sure" that I could see prickles on the petioles.
Thank you Episcophagus for your input, You were right with the Burdock and I can see the confusion between Butterbur and Gunnera. I was thinking along the same lines myself but couldn't pin it down to any one type.
I take your point, it is difficult to distinguish between the two species based on a photo.
I have tried to blow pic 3 up to get an sense of the leaf edge and it is very hard to be absolutely certain which it is...
The other character used to distinguish between the two species is the form and colour of the inflorescence, P. hybridus they are +/- cylindrical; bracts <1cm wide; white flowers tinged with purple and P. japonicus they are +/- hemispherical, bracts >1cm wide; anthocyanin absent. But of course we don't have any information about that as the flowers are long over...
The plants in Habdab's pic don't have the purple stems and major leaf veins like those in your picture but anthocyanin expression can be so variable within a species that tells us nothing really.
I agree it could be either species. The only way to be sure would be to have a closer picture of the leaves so we could compare leaf edges and dentition.
The fun and frustrations of plant id
I didn't mean to criticize your ID. Rather contrary I meant to agree on your ID as a Petasites and almost called myself a fool because I see P hybridus "every" day (it was those imaginary prickles that got me stuck - and once stuck...).
The anthocyanin colouring of the petioles and veins is possibly due to the last week of drought (except for today!) here in souhthern Sweden.
The leaves of P japonicus are "almost circular" (or rather wider than long if you count the flaps that points rearwards), while P hybridus have more triangular leaves (or, expressed in the same way, longer than wide). Seen from where the petiole attaches to the leaf the distance to the point is "the same" as the distance perpendicular to the side-edges in japonicus, while in hybridus it is perhaps 50% longer to the point. (Please misunderstand my "English" correctly!)
The original photograph I took was intended to ID the Burdock. It was only as an afterthought I blew up the background and asked about the Butterbur, hence the poor quality. If I'm in the area again in the near future I'll get clear shots of the plant and post them.