General: Tall plant in the Sunflower Family that starts out looking like rhubarb and in its second year produces flowers and burs.
Height: Grows between 1 & 3m tall.
Flowers: Flowers are under 2.5cm across, purple in clusters grown from short stalks along the top of stems.
Leaves/Stems: Leaves are up to 50cm long and 30cm wide. They are dark green above and hairy below. The stem is grooved, rough and often very thick with thinner branch stems.
Root: Large taproot. The root has been used for herbal supplements and food.
Common Burdock, Lesser Burdock, Wild Burdock, bardane, Wild rhubarb, Beggers button
Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium)
Differences: Cocklebur has smaller leaves with a spiny edge.
Where did it come from? Eurasia
Where does it grow here? It grows in a variety of environments but is often found close to a water source: streambanks, ditch lines and wetlands. It is found in most areas of our region especially along roadsides and disturbed areas.
Reproduction: By seed. One plant can produce between 6 & 16000 seeds per plant.
When does it grow, flower & seed? Sprouts March-April. Flowers May-July. Seeds August-October. The plant forms a first-year plant (rosette) that looks like rhubarb. In the following year, it bolts, flowers and goes to seed.
Spreads By: The burs have hooked spines that attach to animals and clothing.
Plant Type: Biennial
Southern Interior Weed Management Committee. 2016. Invasive Plants of the Southern Interior BC. 86pgs.
Okanagan Invasive Species Online website.