lesser burdock

Arctium minus
Aster family (Asteraceae)

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Arctium minus, commonly known as lesser burdock, little burdock, louse-bur, common burdock, button-bur, cuckoo-button, or wild rhubarb, is a biennial plant. This plant is native to Europe, but has become introduced elsewhere such as Australia, North and South America, and other places.

Lesser burdock produces purple flowers in its second year of growth, from July to October. Outer bracts end in hooks that are like Velcro. After the flower head dries, the hooked bracts will attach to humans and animals to transport the entire seedhead.


Arctium minus can grow up to 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) tall and form multiple branches. It is large and bushy. Flowers are prickly and pink to lavender in color. Flower heads are about 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. The plant flowers from July through October. The flowers resemble and can be easily mistaken for thistles, but burdock can be distinguished by its extremely large (up to 50 cm) leaves, short peducles, and its hooked bracts. Leaves are long and ovate. Lower leaves are heart-shaped and have very wavy margins. Leaves are dark green above and woolly below. It grows an extremely deep taproot, up to 30 cm (12 in) into the ground.


The leafstalks (a year old or younger) and flower stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. The roots are edible boiled with a change of water, though become too woody to eat in plants over a year old.


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Size Shape Shape Colour Ranging
Size  Middle      Shape  Roset       Shape  Filled      Colour Ranging  Branched
Middle Roset Filled Branched
0 LookAlikes (LA):
lesser burdock
Kleine Klette
Petite bardane
Bardana minore
Lampazo menor
Лопух малый
Arctium minus [L.]