Common burdock

Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh. Asteraceae (Aster family)

Life cycle


common burdock young common burdock mature
Young common burdock plant (left). Mature common burdock plant (right).


Plant forms a large-leaved basal rosette in the first year. Leaves are large, alternate, wavy and broadest at the base with hollow petioles. The upper leaf surface is dark green; the undersurface is light green and woolly.


Hollow, hairy, grooved stems elongate from the rosette during the second year. Stems are branched and can grow to 5 feet tall.

Flowers and fruit

Purple flower heads are encircled by hook-like bracts that dry to form a bur. The seed is enclosed in the burs, which make dissemination easy by attaching to fur or clothing.

common burdock flowers and fruit
Common burdock flowers and fruit.



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