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- EssaysEric Dinerstein Bill Young
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".
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