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Wood Burdock

Arctium nemorosum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Roadsides, waterside, woodland.

Purple, many petals
Purplish-red, woolly flowerheads. Shorter flower stalks than the other UK burdock species (less than 1cm). 5 stamens per flower. Unlike the similar and more common Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus), the flowers are never stickily downy.
The light brown fruit is flat, curved and up to 1cm in length. The fruit is covered in many yellow, hooked hairs at the end.
A biennial plant with alternate, stalked leaves. The leaves are broadly oval with heart-shaped bases. The undersides of the leaves are pale green. The stems are sometimes red.
Other Names:
Forest Burdock, Woodland Burdock.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Arctium nemorosum, also known as wood burdock or forest burdock, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe and is commonly found in woodlands, along streams, and in other moist, shaded areas. A. nemorosum is a biennial herb that grows to a height of up to 1.5 meters. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and small, purple or pink flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is valued for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin conditions and respiratory problems. It is also used as a food source and is an important habitat plant for a variety of wildlife species. A. nemorosum is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and is known for its ability to tolerate moist, shaded conditions.


Wood Burdock (Arctium nemorosum) is a species of Burdock plant native to Europe and Asia. It is a biennial plant that can grow up to 2 meters tall and has large, heart-shaped leaves and purple flowers.

Burdock has a long history of use in traditional medicine, dating back to ancient Greece and China. The roots and leaves of the plant contain a number of compounds with medicinal properties, including polyacetylenes, tannins, and inulin.

One of the most well-known uses of Burdock is for its detoxifying properties. The plant is believed to help remove toxins from the liver and blood, as well as to promote healthy skin and digestion. It has also been used to treat conditions such as skin conditions, respiratory issues, and urinary tract infections.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Wood Burdock has also been used in culinary applications, particularly in Japan where the young shoots and roots of the plant are used in dishes such as tempura and salads.

Despite its many benefits, it is important to note that Burdock can also cause side effects in some individuals, including skin irritation and allergic reactions. It is also not recommended for use during pregnancy or for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as liver or kidney problems.

Wood Burdock (Arctium nemorosum) is also known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system. It has been used to treat conditions such as indigestion, constipation, and abdominal discomfort. The plant is believed to help improve digestive function by increasing the production of bile and promoting the elimination of waste products from the body.

In addition to its digestive benefits, Wood Burdock is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This makes it a useful treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as for infections such as urinary tract infections and respiratory infections.

It is important to use caution when using Wood Burdock as a medicinal treatment, as the plant can interact with certain medications and have side effects in some individuals. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before using any new herbal remedy, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking prescription medications.

In traditional herbal medicine, Wood Burdock is often used in combination with other herbs to enhance its therapeutic effects. For example, it may be combined with dandelion root to support liver function, or with chamomile to soothe skin irritations.

Wood Burdock is also known for its ability to support the immune system. Its roots contain compounds with immunomodulatory properties, meaning that they can help regulate the immune system and improve its ability to fight off infections and diseases. This makes Wood Burdock an ideal herb for individuals who have a weakened immune system or are prone to infections.

The plant is also rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that protect the body against harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are essential for maintaining good health, as they help prevent oxidative stress, which can damage cells and lead to chronic diseases.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Wood Burdock is also a useful herb for gardeners and landscapers. The plant is highly attractive to pollinators, including bees and butterflies, and its large size and heart-shaped leaves make it an attractive addition to any garden.

Despite its many benefits, Wood Burdock should be used with caution, as it can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals. It is also important to note that the plant is a known invader in some areas and can quickly become invasive if not properly managed.

In conclusion, Wood Burdock (Arctium nemorosum) is a versatile plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Its roots and leaves contain a number of compounds with medicinal properties, including polyacetylenes, tannins, and inulin, making it a useful herb for digestive, skin, respiratory, and immune health. When used with caution, Wood Burdock can offer a number of benefits for health and wellness.