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Greater Burdock

Arctium lappa

Plant Data

Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Type:
Flower
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC

Flower:
֍
Purple, many petals
 
Egg-shaped spiky flower heads forming flat-topped loose clusters. A notable feature for positively identifying Greater Burdock is its flower stalks which can be anything up to 10cm in length. Lesser Burdock has much shorter stalks, up to 1cm.
Fruit:
Clusters of round, prickly fruit called 'burs'. The prickles of the burs have small hooks at their ends. The hooks can cause the fruit to stick to clothing and animal fur very easily while brushing past them.
Leaves:
The alternate leaves are large, broad, triangular with toothed margins. Grey and woolly in appearance on the underside of the leaf surfaces. Another way to distinguish Greater Burdock from Lesser Burdock is by its lower leaf stalks. The lower leaf stalks are solid but with Lesser Burdock, the lower stalks are hollow.
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Foraging Notes:
The roots, leaves, stems and seeds are all edible, raw or cooked. This flower is widely used in Chinese and Western herbal medicine.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Bardona, Beggar's Buttons, Clotburr, Cockle Buttons, Edible Burdock, Fox's Clote, Gobo, Happy Major, Lappa, Love Leaves, Personata, Philanthropium, Sticklebacks, Sticky Bobs, Sticky Jack, Thorny Burr.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen
Habitats:
Farmland, grassland, towns, wetland, woodland.