Common Burdock

Arctium minus

non-native


Other Names:
Cockleburs, Beggar's Buttons, Love Leaves, Turkey Burnseed


Common Burdock is a non-native species from Eurasia which probably was brought to North America by early French and English settlers. It is an aggressive invasive which now is found in much of the continent. Common Burdock is not eaten by many birds, and it can be dangerous for very small birds. In 1998, three Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were found dead in Rock Creek Park, stuck to Common Burdock plants. A burdock species was the inspiration for the invention of Velcro. After walking his dog one day in 1948, Swiss inventor named George de Mestral became curious about the burs stuck to his clothing and his dog's fur. He looked at one of the burs under a microscope and saw the hook-and-loop fastening system which was later used to make Velcro. The name comes from velour crochet, which is French for "velvet hook".

Identification Tools

Illinois Wildflowers Friends of the Wildflower Garden Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States Invasive.org Go Botany Nature Gate NC State Extension Fall Wildflowers of New England

Ranges

North America Virginia

Common Burdock
A burdock rosette

Common Burdock
A burdock rosette

Common Burdock
Burdock rosettes along the curb

Common Burdock
A burdock plant in bud

Common Burdock
A burdock plant in bud

Common Burdock
Burdock in bloom

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