What is this?

Last year, a clump of leaves appeared in a bare part of my garden that I plan to grass. By the time I dug it up, the largest leaves were about 8" wide. I noticed that the roots were fleshy, brittle and pure white (a sense of foreboding formed in the back of my mind). I hoped it was a vegetable seed that had found its way into my garden.

This year, small groups of these leaves, only a couple of inches wide at the moment are springing up over an area of 10 square metres. Needless to say, the roots are all over the place

Can anyone identify it please?





  • Hi

    Does the area flood?

    I think it is the weed- related to cellandine/ buttercup- will get yellow flowers- highly invasive- usually left by flood waters- I have plenty!   You need to did up all the root- seems to be a small tuber with wet brittle roots- is this correct?

    the cullivated version is the marsh marigold I believe.

  • Hi dizzylizzy

    Thanks for your reply.We are on top of sandstone hills, 5 miles from centre of Nottingham, so I feel confident in stating that floods are not a problemimage. The roots are certainly soft and brittle, not sure about the tuber, though. I'm off to dig one up and check. After that, I'll be on my hands and knees with my Roundup gel applicator.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    That looks familiar and will come to me eventually. Marsh marigolds don't spread underground they make long stems which root down and spread that way. 

    Whatever it is, it's shouting INVASIVE. Let it grow some more before you get the glyphosate out, the more leaf there is to treat the better.

  • Looks like Arum maculatum, or possibly Arum italicum.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    I know those very well, they have corms that multiply and they seed but they don't have fleshy brittle roots.

    Looks a bit like coltsfoot but would have expected the yellow flowers before the leaves. Mine have flowered but leaves are barely showing.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    Or butterbur. It's one of those types of plants and you don't want it unless you're running a large wild garden.

  • Just spotted 2 flowers poking out the soil, each one several inches away from the nearest leaf cluster. When it was still connected, the flower was more open and looking a bit like a dandelion







  • Thanks to dizzylizzy, Joe_the_Gardener and nutcutlet for your suggestions and help. As suggested by nutcutlet, I'm pretty sure that the plant is Coltsfoot. I shall persevere with the Roundup.

    For anyone with the same problem, but wanting an organic solution, there is advice and info at



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,255

    That pic is coltsfoot for sure. Got plenty of that but oK where it is.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,790

    Coltsfoot, named for the shape of it's young leaves image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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