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Burdock - Arctium minus
Family: Asteraceae

Invasive Plants Video

Description

This is a large perenial plant that produces large purple, shaving-brush-like flowers clumped on a large central stalk (up to 6 feet tall). In its first year the basal rosets stay close to the ground. These leaves can be large (up to 2 1/2 feet). During the second spring, a central stalk emerges that bear the flowers.

The purple flowers are surrounded by a large involucral with velcro-like hairs that are used to cling to passing animals and thus aids greatley in its dispersal.

Interesting facts

Burdock is also sometimes called lesser Burdock and has the scientific name Arctium minus. This name (Arctium) comes from the greek arktos meaning bear, which is an allusion to the roughness of the burs.

The roots of the similar Arctium lappa have been used medicinally for curing ailments that lead to dry skin. For more information on this medicinal use, seek the reference of the sites below.

In general the plant is considered a noxious weed not only because of its ability to disperse by attaching itself to mammals and birds, but because of the problems it creates for livestock. The burs can be cause irritation if they cling to the eyes, throught, mouth, or the inside of the stomach. In some cases the seeds must be surgically removed.

At first glance, the weed appears very similar to Cocklebur. Yet, burdock seeds are rounder and softer, and can thus be easily distinguished.


VIDEO


Links to more information


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

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