A large tropical-looking plant for the shade garden. First comes the flowers, before the trees leaf out. Small, and close to the ground, where they are beloved by early pollinating insects. Then come the humongous round green leaves that fill a space. Butterbur thrives in damp to wet woodlands and will develop a nice stand, given ideal conditions. But in a drier area, it will perform well if you keep it well mulched and watered. Plus, deer and rabbit don’t like the prickly leaves and stems, so they tend to leave it alone once it matures.