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Arctium lappa

 
Arctium lappa
great burdock
Common name great burdock
Family asteraceae
Life cycle biennial
Flowers pink (summer)
Size 4-8'
Light sun-part shade

Biennial weed imported from Eurasia. In its first year, it just makes a low rosette of ruffled leaves (photo top right), but the following year it really amps it up, growing huge leaves on thick stems rising well above ground level. Thistle-like flowers appear on upright stems in the heat of summer; these mature to brown burrs that stick to my T-shirt as I walk by. The taproot can go several feet down into the soil.
The juice from burdock leaves is reported to sooth insect stings and ites, as well as other skin conditions, but I haven't tried it. The root is edible, but I have likewise not partaken just yet.

This is a weed in our garden

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Last modified: June 15, 2014
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