Lesser burdock (Arctium minus)

Lesser burdock Common Names: Common burdock, Wild rhubarb

Description: Introduced to North American accidentally. Parts of plants can be used as food.

Habit: Biennial, 1st year plant forms a rosette while 2nd year plant is erect with a large taproot. Can grow up to 2-6 ft tall.

Leaves: Large, heart-shaped, alternate, dark green in color, smooth above and whitish green in color and woolly-hairy beneath.

Stems: Stout, grooved, rough, multiple branches and grows to 2-6 ft tall.

Flowers: Pink, lavender, purple or white in color in numerous heads, 3/4 in across, flower head is enclosed in a prickly bur composed of numerous smooth or woolly bracts tipped with hooked spines; blooms from July to October.

Fruit and seeds: One plant typically produces 15,000 seeds.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Found along roadsides, in ditch banks, stream banks, old fields, waste places, and neglected areas.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: Woolly burdock (Arctium tomentosum), has abundant cobwebby hairs that cover the floral bracts below the hooked tips; Greater burdock (Arctium lappa), which can be taller and has larger flower heads.

Monitoring and rapid response: Top growth removal through mowing or cutting is effective. Pulling or digging out the plant at flowering. Remove seed heads before seed set. Pulling may be difficult due to large taproot. Effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate or clopyralid.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S. Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the Bugwood.org network (http://www.invasive.org).Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (http://images.google.com).

Common Name:

Lesser burdock

Scientific Name:

Arctium minus







USDA Symbol: